Town of Bon­av­ista grants tax break to for­mer East­ern Health doc­tor

Dr. Singh ex­pected to be­gin pri­vate prac­tice be­fore the end of the year

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Community - BY MARK SQUIBB Mark.squibb@thep­acket.ca

Dr. Ich­pal Singh will once again be prac­tic­ing in Bon­av­ista, af­ter be­ing dis­missed by East­ern Health mid-April of 2018, thanks to the in­ter­ven­tion of the Bon­av­ista Town Coun­cil.

“Dr. Singh had a lot of pa­tients when he was em­ployed with East­ern Health in the Bon­av­ista area,” Mayor John Nor­man told The Packet this week.

“Bon­av­ista has had a chal­lenge — as have many com­mu­ni­ties in New­found­land­with con­ti­nu­ity of physi­cians,” Nor­man said. “And Dr. Singh had been prac­tic­ing here for over a decade, so there were pa­tients speak­ing to coun­cil, writ­ing let­ters to coun­cil, ask­ing us what we might be able to do to help.”

The Town of Bon­av­ista granted a tax and rent break to Singh to help him set up a pri­vate prac­tice in the Pub­lic Build­ing on Church Street.

Coun­cil voted unan­i­mously at an Aug. 6 coun­cil meet­ing to give Singh a six-month tax break as well as three months’ rent free, fol­low­ing three months at a 50 per cent rent dis­count.

The mo­tion was car­ried unan­i­mously — de­spite the un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing Singh’s dis­missal.

“We still have not got­ten the full de­tails with what hap­pened with East­ern Health, but we had to look at it from the com­mu­nity per­spec­tive,” said Nor­man.

East­ern Health told The Packet in a prior story that pa­tients are be­ing re­as­signed to other physi­cians at the Bon­av­ista Health Cen­tre to “en­sure there are no gaps in care,” but would give no de­tails as to the rea­son for Singh’s dis­missal.

A for­mer re­quest by the Bon­av­ista Con­cerned Cit­i­zens group on July 16 to pro­vide startup costs for Singh was de­nied.

“The town wasn’t com­fort­able get­ting into that. We have other prac­ti­tion­ers in the area, and we haven’t of­fered those types of sup­ports in the past… those costs would be high, and would be set­ting a prece­dent we weren’t com­fort­able set­ting,” said the Mayor.

De­spite sev­eral at­tempts by The Packet, Singh could not for reached for com­ment.

How­ever, Nor­man says it is his un­der­stand­ing that the clinic should be open be­fore the end of the year.

Re­lated Story: A month on the Bon­av­ista Penin­sula with­out Dr. Singh (https://www.thep­acket. ca/news/lo­cal/a-month-on­the-bon­av­ista-penin­sula-with­out-dr-singh-209118/ )

CON­TRIB­UTED

Dr. Ich­pal Singh

PACKET FILE PHOTO

Bon­av­ista Mayor John Nor­man

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