Looking for change
Montague residents discuss health-care services in their town
Accessing health-care services in Montague hasn’t been easy, and residents are ready to see a change.
Michelle Tremblay said one way the Island’s health-care services can be improved is to look to at what’s being done in other provinces and consider hiring physician’s assistants.
After relocating to the Kings County area from Ontario two years ago, Tremblay and her family were given a family doctor last fall, only to have that same doctor leave the province three months later.
Before their doctor was replaced, however, Tremblay said her family had to travel to Souris for services.
With the doctor shortage in the area, along with the recent emergency room closures at the Kings Country Memorial Hospital (KCMH), the former military medic said the province could benefit from physician’s assistants.
“As a medic, one of the things you do is become a physician’s assistant at a senior rank,” she said, adding once physician’s assistants retire from the military, they work across Canada and around the world and are “more qualified to do things than nurse practitioners”.
The government isn’t utilizing the other resources out there, she told The Guardian last week.
“If they opened up the doors that way, there would be a lot more people being serviced for health care.”
Another resident, Claude Redmon, said the situation at the KCMH doesn’t look hopeful.
“The rate they’re going, down the road they’ll be closed later on. It’s too bad,” he said, adding he wishes the waits to see a doctor weren’t so long.
“I don’t know why you have to wait so long. Geez, you go up
there and wait 10 and 12 hours sometimes.”
Not everyone in Montague seems bothered by the current lack of services in the area, including Mel Campbell who said he doesn’t have any complaints. “It’s no problem, works for me.” However, his friend and fellow resident, Noel Condon, said the services have seen better days.
“It’s not too bad, but it’s a little worse than it has been,” he said, adding limited hours and long waits can be improved.
Earlier this week, the province announced changes in emergency room services at the KCMH, including reducing the hours of operation for the hospital’s emergency
room to be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. starting July 1.
The emergency room currently operates from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. when there is enough physician coverage for the emergency room to be open.
The government announced the changes in the legislature on June 12, which were in response to a string of emergency room closures in Montagues due to a shortage of physician coverage, including 13 days in June.
The province is looking to recruit two dedicated emergency department doctors to work at the hospital, along with other physicians from the area, who will pick up some shifts.
“The rate they’re going, down the road they’ll be closed later on. It’s too bad. I don’t know why you have to wait so long. Geez, you go up there and wait 10 and 12 hours sometimes.” Claude Redmon
Montague resident Noel Condon says there’s room for improvement when it comes to health-care services in the area.