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Letter: Loss of Shelburne doctor an unhappy "I told you so"


In the grand scheme of things, "I told you so!" is not worth very much - other than perhaps a little self-satisfaction. There might even be a little humour if one looked hard enough, but, this is not a humorous matter. Yet another one of our doctors is leaving because of broken promises made by our provincial government and Department of Health (DOH) in particular. The doctor was promised an ultra-modern medical facility for which to start her medical career in our community and those in the DOH that promised it failed to deliver, indeed, even to set a date or provide a sketch of the facility. So we are once again acutely short of doctors and that does not bode well for even more ER closures at our dearly beloved but besieged Roseway Hospital.

Choosing my words carefully, I was asked to cease communicating with certain Southwest Nova Health Care officials because I was not asking reasonable questions. My parting words were something to the effect that if we do not least get something started on the new medical center we are going to lose one of our newly recruited doctors! And unfortunately for all of the wrong reasons so it is - that is what happened.

Our situation is well known and understood by those that are not even medical specialists. We have an aging population with ever increasing demands on our health care system. Our existing medical practitioners, doctors, RN's, LPN's and so on are aging along with the rest of us and many of these health care workers are at or very near retirement age. If we do not put it in place right now, certainly this year, the means to start building anew the Shelburne County health care system we are going to be devastated when the medical retirements start in earnest very shortly. That was why the commencement of the new medical center was so critical and no one in the DOH seemed to understand it. Where are all of these people that we pay so much money to for the maintenance of adequate health care in this end of the province?

There are numerous solutions to the problem. They have been implemented elsewhere with great success. Maybe the time has come to start looking at where the money is really going in the business (so called) of health care. Certainly the prime benefactors of the health care budget have a great deal to answer for as to how they acquire their portion of the annual $4.5 billion in health care monies and as to how the system grows and improves as a result of it - or as in this case -does not. The question then really becomes, how do we bring pressure to bear on a system that seems to be unable to better itself? The answer to that is also clear, but, I would be just as happy if it did not come to that and that common sense prevailed in the first place.

Don Bower


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