Rural & Northern Physician Group (RNPGA) Complement Review and Reduction - Red Lake
The Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital is gravely concerned with a decision by the Ministry of Health to reduce the physician complement in Red Lake from 7 Full Time Equivalent to 6.
Impact on RLMCMH
1. The ER could see more closures in the future if the hospital is unable to secure physicians for the ER. The ER will become more challenging for the local physicians to provide service for, as they were already struggling to fill the 24/7 ER roster vacancies with locums.
2. The knock-on effects of an ER closure in Red Lake has far-reaching impacts affecting the
hospitals in Kenora, Dryden, Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay. Additional strain is placed on Ornge and the KDSB ambulance service.
3. ER volumes and wait times will increase with the reduction in physicians at the clinic. We have seen increased ER visits as clinic hours reduced in the past.
4. Outpatient procedural services such as excisions & stress tests will be more difficult to offer.
5. Obstetrical services are currently on hold due to an insufficient number of trained physicians. This reduction makes re-opening this service more difficult.
6. The reputation of the hospital will be compromised. In this community, the Family Health team and its physicians and the hospital are viewed as one. The ability to provide “appropriate care” to our community will be reduced.