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Health officials need to come clean

['WS-xx-letter to the editor']
['WS-xx-letter to the editor']

Dear Editor: My name is Dave Kane, member of the West Coast Health Care Action Committee and I represent the Town of Stephenville Crossing.

I am disgusted with the board of Western Health. I want the residents of Stephenville Crossing and surrounding areas to know that we have been getting the runaround by the board of Western Health in getting a doctor or nurse practitioner to replace Dr. Parsons who retired back in April 2016.

I have been in contact with Western Health Board and my member, MHA Scott Reid-St. George’s-Humber, since April 2016 and still no answers from them.

Back in April 4, 2016 I got a call from a friend of mine asking me if I was going to the town hall for a meeting about getting a doctor to replace Dr. Parsons.

I told him I did not get an invitation. My friend got a call from the town to attend this meeting, he was representing a certain group. Not one member of our Health Committee got a call to attend this meeting, not even our chairperson, Laura Alyward.

I decided to go to this meeting and when I went to the Town Hall, the mayor of Stephenville Crossing and a few mouncilors were there along with the mayor of St. George’s and MHA Scott Reid and MHA John Finn Stephenville-Port au Port and two members of the Qualipu Indian Band, plus Western Health board and the mayor from Stephenville — who is chair of the board.

At the meeting I asked the board if we could get a doctor to do locum to take Dr. Parsons’ place until a doctor or nurse practitioner is found. The answer that I got was there is a shortage of doctors and no one to do locums.

One of the doctors on the board from Stephenville told me at the meeting that no new young doctor or doctors would come here to work in this clinic. This doctor told me that he would not work in this clinic, either. I was so mad I said to this doctor that Dr. Parsons worked in this clinic for the last 30 years along with Dr. Verona, the other doctor who works there and there is nothing wrong with our clinic and I was quite honoured to say I was a patient of his and he had over 5,000 patients, I was told.

I also said to this doctor that our clinic was in better shape than the Bay St. George Medical Clinic in Stephenville and he said he would not work in that clinic, either.

I found out after the meeting was over from my friend who was at that meeting that the mayor of Stephenville Crossing asked him who invited me, Dave Kane, to this meeting. So you can see why no member of our committee was invited to this meeting. Western Health Board had no intention of getting a doctor to replace Dr. Parsons and not a word from our mayor or councilors. Since April 2016 we only have one doctor and he has to look after the Bay St. George Seniors Home here in Stephenville Crossing plus his own clinic.

We still have citizens who have no family doctor, a lot of them are senior citizens and they have to go to the Emergency Room at the hospital in Stephenville to get their medications refilled, for their blood work and other ailments and have to wait from anywhere from three to 10 hours or more some days to see a doctor on call. I was so upset in January 2017 when I found out that a doctor from Corner Brook was doing locum for a doctor in Stephenville when this doctor took time off. This same doctor from Stephenville told Western Health back in 2016 that he would be finished at his clinic in December 2016.

I also found out that this doctor from Corner Brook was coming out for “6 weeks” or more until Western Health can find a replacement. I had a meeting with my member Scott Reid and told him the whole story but not a word from him or Western Health Board. Western Health Board has no problem finding a locum for Stephenville but none for Stephenville Crossing.

I went on the Western Health website and they are not even looking for a doctor or nurse practitioner for Stephenville Crossing.

It is time for our member Scott Reid and the Town of Stephenville Crossing to be in contact with Western Health Board and come clean with the citizens of Stephenville Crossing and speak out about what is going on.

Dave Kane, Stephenville Crossing

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