Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski re doctors:
This is a letter of support for Dr. Xiu-Mei Zhang of Whitehorse.
Zhang recently had her licence to practise medicine in the Yukon revoked by the Yukon Medical Council.
Zhang, a fully licensed doctor in China, came to the Yukon in 1991 and set up a Chinese medicine practice here.
In October, 2005, she received a special licence after completing all the requirement examinations requested by the Medical Council of Canada to become a family physician.
Zhang then worked for five years at the Whitehorse Medical Clinic, initially under the supervision of Dr. Sally MacDonald.
In 2006, Zhang completed an assessment program for international physicians at the University of Calgary. The Yukon Medical Council recommended she take this program and the Yukon government sponsored her to attend.
At that time, she understood that there would be no need for further testing and that she could go on to practise both “western” medicine and Chinese medicine in our community.
Zhang has been an excellent doctor for hundreds of Yukoners, whether we have seen her in her Chinese medicine clinic or at Whitehorse Medical Clinic. She always takes as much time as necessary to hear what our issues are and to offer solutions to help heal us.
What is particularly satisfying is that she brings both Chinese and western traditions to her practice so one can feel very confident at an appointment with Zhang.
We are aware the issue of putting in place licensing standards that are so high as to eliminate foreign doctors is also being questioned internationally.
Currently, Zhang is working locums in Inuvik, where her Canadian medical licence is fully recognized. We question the efficacy of the Yukon having adopted stricter licensing requirements for its doctors than other Canadian jurisdictions, such as the NWT.
Why is this the case?
Beyond Zhang’s immediate prospects, we have several concerns about the doctor situation in the Yukon:
Â¥ Why is the Yukon medical system currently singling out foreign-trained doctors who are here and who work hard but can’t get ahead?
Â¥ Why is our current medical system leaving many Yukoners without family doctors?
Â¥ Why are Yukon taxpayers having to pay to recruit more doctors to the Yukon when there are already trained doctors here?
Â¥ Why is the emergency room at Whitehorse General Hospital now doing primary care for patients without family doctors?
We would like to hear directly from you concerning the steps your government will be taking to deal with the current doctor situation in the Yukon, and specifically about Zhang’s situation.
Wynne Krangle, Barbara Robinson and Arlin McFarlane