Hantsport’s doctor search drags on

Ashley Thompson athompson@hantsjournal.ca
Published on July 15, 2012
Hants Journal

The search for a long-term doctor in Hantsport is proving to be a difficult task that has the town’s citizens rather disenchanted with the Capital District Health Authority.

And, a recent meeting the health authority hosted at the Hants Community Hospital appears to have done little more than fuel the fire.

Several concerned locals arrived at the hospital, many with thoughts of dialysis and the need for a doctor in Hantsport on mind, believing there would be open discussions with members of Capital Health about health care issues plaguing Hants County. That wasn’t the case when they arrived at the Hants Community Hospital June 26.

Rick Morse, the general manager of Cochrane’s Pharmasave in Hantsport, attended the meeting to stress the need for a full-time physician in Hantsport. He was disappointed to learn Capital Health was accepting feedback in the form of sticky notes tacked to sheets of papers with the health authority’s five focus strategies — transforming and person-centred health care experience; innovation and learning; sustainability; citizen and stakeholder engagement and accountability; and transformational leadership.

Morse said disappointed citizens wishing to speak openly with Capital Health about the lack of a physician in Hantsport wrote Capital Health CEO Chris Power to communicate their displeasure with the format of the meeting.

"The invitation to last week's meeting with CDHA mentioned that they were seeking advice and discussion, to help them decide on key focal points for the next three years. There was confusion in the room when attendees were instead presented with an invitation to comment on CDHA value statements, by way of sticky notes and story boards,”said Morse, summarizing the letter.

“This frustration illustrates a fundamental disconnect between CDHA and the people they serve. Amongst other needs, the people of Hantsport desperately need a stable medical practice. The apparent gap between real people's needs and CDHA's mission is disheartening for many."

One nurse practitioner kept the collaborative clinic, which has a patient list of about 2,500, operational from Dr. Iona Wile’s departure in August 2011 to March of this year, when Capital Health arranged for Dr. Hany Demian to provide some interim coverage in Hantsport while the authority searched for a permanent solution.

Demian left the practice May 25. No permanent solution has been found.

In a June 28 e-mail to the Hants Journal, Capital Health’s primary health care services manager, Lisa MacDonald, said “We had some short term coverage with Dr. Demian, however, he did not wish to pursue this practice opportunity long term.  To date, we have had no new interested physicians in the practice.”