Dr. Jim Hutchinson is leaving St. John's for a new job in Victoria, B.C. ((CBC))

One of two specialists leaving eastern Newfoundland this fall said he's leaving for a lower paying job because he felt stifled by the Eastern Regional Health Authority.

Jim Hutchinson, the former chief of infection control, resigned recently and is due to leave the province in December for new job in Victoria, B.C.

"Over the last number of years there was inertia at every turn. An idea could not be moved forward no matter what you did so that it gets to a point where you try and try and try and you reach the road blocks so many times that you don't keep banging on the door," Hutchinson told CBC Thursday.

"Eastern Health has not been a place for ideas to flourish in the last few years and that's been really difficult."


Eastern Health CEO Vickie Kaminski spoke with reporters in St. John's in early October. ((CBC))

Eastern Health CEO Vickie Kaminski responded to Hutchinson Thursday morning

"If things aren't getting done as quickly as you want, sometimes because it's not the right thing to do," Kaminksi said. "Or sometimes it's because you are the only one that wants it done that way, but when there are things that need to happen, I think that what he was saying, is there's optimism that that will occur."

"I also heard him say that he recognized that it is a big organization to change. So change is going to be slow and I heard him talk about optimism for the future."

Pathologist Dan Fontaine is the other specialist who has resigned from Eastern Health this fall.

"Dr. Fontaine's decision is a personal one. He has had some challenges with the whole laboratory issue that we have been dealing with. He has helped us with those. We thank him for that and we wish him well with where he is going," said Kaminski.

A judicial inquiry was established in 2007 in Newfoundland and Labrador after it was revealed some inaccurate laboratory tests in the province had affected the treatments of hundreds of breast cancer patients.

The two specialist's resignations come while the province is negotiating a new contract with doctors. Their last four-year agreement expired more than a year ago.

Both of the specialists who resigned received a substantial pay raise after the inquiry into laboratory problems was completed.

Dr. Patrick O'Shea, the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, said it will take more than money to attract and keep physicians in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"You can keep giving people more and more money, but it doesn't make them happier, and very often it's the number of people around them that's important, it's their working conditions, it's support from the administration as much as the money they're making," he said.