Vitalité Health Network losing two oncology specialists in July

·2 min read
The two departing specialists work at Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton. (Shane Magee/CBC - image credit)
The two departing specialists work at Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton. (Shane Magee/CBC - image credit)

The  Vitalité Health Network is losing two oncology specialists at the end of July.

The specialists are both from the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton.

Dr. France Desrosiers, president and CEO of Vitalité, said about 775 patients are affected.

The names of the two doctors have not been released. But Desrosiers said patients who are affected will be contacted in a few days or a few weeks, according to the degree of urgency. Some patients have already been contacted.

Desrosiers said the network is working to make sure patient care is not disrupted.

She said the team is going to review all the patient files in a short period with current specialists to determine who the best care provider is to match them with.

Radio-Canada/François Vigneault
Radio-Canada/François Vigneault

"No matter who their specialist was, they will be contacted in the coming days, in the coming weeks and we'll communicate the name of the new professional who will take care of them," Desrosier said in an interview Monday in French.

Vitalité has family doctors who specialize in oncology at the Dumont and four satellite centres — Edmundston, Campbellton, Bathurst and Caraquet. They all work in teams.

Some patients, depending on their situation, will be redirected to their local satellite location.

Others will be seen by another specialist at the Dumont, according to their treatments.

Other options being considered

Vitalité is also looking at possible collaboration with other oncology centres that could look after certain patients without the quality or nature of their care being affected.

Horizon Network is one option.

"Horizon and Vitalité have had preliminary discussions around this matter and we are mutually committed to remaining closely engaged as the situation develops," Greg Doiron, vice-president clinical operations at Horizon, said in an email.

"We are hopeful that by working together, we will be able to come up with creative solutions which will help mitigate any impact on oncology patients who receive care from these two specialists."

The network also plans to intensify efforts to recruit new specialists.

"We're always in active recruitment for the oncology department, because it's a department that is very active," Desrosiers said.

"The demand for oncology treatment, oncology diagnosis is growing and we're projecting it will also grow in the coming years.

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