Alberta Health Services has released a statement this afternoon stating no resignations have been received from local doctors and a new surgeon will be recruited.
“AHS has not received a formal request to withdraw from hospital coverage from any privileged physicians,” at the St. Therese Health Centre, according to a statement attributed to Dr. Albert Harmse, Interim North Zone Medical Director, sent this afternoon to LakelandTODAY.ca through AHS Communications
“AHS will recruit a second surgeon to support St. Paul patients. We will continue to update the community as recruitment progresses. Dr. Ahmad will continue to do surgery in St. Paul and Bonnyville, in addition to Cold Lake. In addition, a surgeon who currently practices in three communities – Cold Lake, St. Paul and Bonnyville – will continue his practice in all three communities. Surgical services will continue to be offered in St. Paul and Cold Lake now and into the future. We will continue to monitor local care needs and ensure the needs of patients are met.
“AHS is connecting with local physicians and community leaders today to share information and ensure that all parties are aware of the current surgical coverage plan as well as the plan to recruit an additional surgeon,” the statement concludes.
Meanwhile, Dr. Francis Adebayo, Chief of Staff at St. Therese Health Centre, confirmed this morning to LakelandTODAY.ca that, “Officially one person resigned and three others have cancelled their lease with the Town of St. Paul as they are anticipating moving out of the community.”
Doctors located in the St. Paul Wellness Centre lease space individually from the Town of St. Paul in the facility.
Mayor Maureen Miller stated yesterday, "The fallout from this decision by Alberta Health Services to not immediately start looking for another surgeon has caused the devastating impact of four of our doctors handing in their resignations within the last 72 hours."