The model radiologists use to offer services to patients in Regina is causing some headaches as a dispute continues between doctors and the health region.
Radiology Associates of Regina (RAR) is dissatisfied with how talks with the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR) have been going, and are now asking Health Minister Dustin Duncan to step in.
“Every time someone else gives a resignation and leaves it’s just a complete loss for patient care and we need to stop the bleeding in this health region,” said Dr. Andrea Gourgaris, with RAR.
She expressed concern recently about their group model ending and being replaced instead with more of an independent model.
Gourgaris says she believes qualified professionals are leaving Regina because of this change, adding the move will impact the safety of patients while making it more challenging to recruit and retain new doctors.
“We, as the medical experts in radiology in southern Saskatchewan, feel that we have an imminent crisis,” she insisted.
“We don’t want to stand by and watch more radiologists leave; young talented people that we’ve been successful to recruit here,” added Dr. Raj Patel.
The two sides seem to be at odds with how many radiologists have left in the last 22 months; the RQHR said six have left while RAR maintains that number is eight.
Either way, health region president and CEO, Keith Dewar doesn’t deny the current situation is not ideal.
“I do want to recognize that the current situation is obviously troublesome,” he admitted.
However, Dewar is confident the health region’s numbers remain strong and that Regina is an attractive market for radiologists looking to relocate. He said radiologists are not leaving solely based on some of the recent changes, as some have retired.
Duncan told reporters Tuesday that he doesn’t think it’s his place to step in and dictate terms, even though he outlined how the mediator said the two sides remain far apart. The health minister said he’s hopeful an agreement can be reached without him having to intervene.
At the end of the day, he explained how neither side is going to get everything they ask for. Duncan is hopeful both the RAR and RQHR can take a hard look at things and remember to ask themselves whether decisions made are in the best interest of patients.
Disappointed with that response, Gourgaris said the only other option for the group to get a resolution on this matter is to go over Duncan’s head to the premier.