Doctors send message to N.S. Health Authority, stepping down from positions
SYDNEY, N.S. -- If actions speak louder than words, a Cape Breton doctor is making herself heard on the island’s health-care crisis.
Dr. Meaghan Keating, the doctor who decried emergency room conditions in a Facebook post this past weekend, has stepped down from her position as network lead for the family practice physicians in the region, under the Nova Scotia Health Authority.
Keating’s decision caught many by surprise, including the province’s health minister.
“I certainly can’t get into the details of individual physicians and their decisions around when they take a particular role," said Nova Scotia Health Minister Randy Delorey, “I wouldn’t be able to speak to that about any particular employee, either. But the NSHA has obviously been recruiting to fill that administrative role.”
Keating didn’t respond to a request for comment Thursday, but another physician, Dr. Stephanie Langley, said in a statement to CTV News: “There is a medical leadership crisis here in Cape Breton. We have local problems that require local decision making and local solutions."
Langley also stepped down from her position as site lead at the Northside General Hospital after the government announced plans to close it and the New Waterford Consolidated Hospital back in June.
NSHA spokesman Greg Boone says no complaint was made by the NSHA about Keating’s social media post, nor is there any plan for a complaint. He says she is a respected physician in the community who is free to express her opinion.
Meanwhile, a group of health-care protesters is organizing sit-ins at the offices of two local liberal MLAs on Jan. 25.
“The messages we’re getting from people right now is – they’re scared, they’re worried – don’t get sick in Cape Breton," said Gordon MacDonald of the group, Capers 4 Health care.
“There’s been no response from either of these guys, considering the situation that’s been going on here in Cape Breton with health care. The crisis that’s going on in emergency, the fact that nobody’s got doctors,” MacDonald said.
One of those MLAs. Geoff MacLellan, was adamant that the government is on track to improve health care in the region.
“We’ve been having discussions about how we can accelerate some of our physical projects that we have, certainly underway in terms of planning,” he said. “But this becomes about getting our recruitment and retention plans into action and ensuring that we bring as many doctors as we can to the area."