Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski and Health Minister Doug Graham:
I moved to the Yukon in 2005 for a number of reasons. One was the health care system, which was reportedly the same as the N.W.T.
My family needs medical care on an ongoing basis, lack of which can be dangerous. When we arrived we spent several months with regular hospital visits for cancer checkups, seeing a different doctor each time with no continuity of care.
My wife was fortunate to be accepted as a patient by Dr. Sally Macdonald, after meeting at the emergency room. I am currently under continuing care by Dr. Peyman Shostari.
On Nov. 1, I stopped in at my doctor’s office to check on a matter. I was shocked to be told that this office was being closed for good. Apparently Dr. Shostari’s contract with the Yukon Medical Council expires in a couple of weeks.
Dr. Shostari is awaiting his results from his exams to comply with the requirement for a “family practice specialist.” These results could come in mid-December and bring him up to the newest Yukon standard.
Apparently being a general practitioner is not good enough for some doctors. I understand there are others that do not have to retest for the new title.
If Graham won’t grant a short extension to the contract with Dr. Shostari, what will follow? I understand the Yukon has lost several doctors already this year, and two retirements are in the wind for next June.
Obviously the attraction and retention policies are not working.
The Yukon currently has a doctor that wants to practice here and has many patients. He is a good doctor and qualifies to practice elsewhere in Canada. Why force him out?
Other existing doctors were grandfathered into this family practitioner classification. To force him out without even knowing his results, or for any other reason, is a disservice to him and the Yukoners under his care.
There are patients currently out of the territory for critical medical procedures from Dr. Shostari’s office. I don’t know who, or how many, but when they return and the doors are closed and they have no doctor, what happens then?
What happens to ongoing treatments? To chronic prescription refills? To medical files when there is no doctor to accept them? Do we take them home, and carry them to the emergency room whenever we need treatment or a renewal?
Walk-in clinics are closing, and no new patients are being accepted in Whitehorse at the remaining few offices. Whitehorse will be losing two of its best next year due to retirement.
New doctors are not flocking here. The population is growing in leaps and bounds, and the YMA and the minister of health are not coping. This is no enticement for people to move here with families.
Graham and Pasloski, you have the power to extend this doctor’s contract. Please fix the problem immediately.