The only two oral surgeons practicing in Newfoundland and Labrador have said they are withdrawing from MCP and resigning, meaning that patients from this province may have to be sent to Halifax to receive emergency oral surgery.

In a letter to his colleagues, one of the oral surgeons, Dr. Amin Alibhai, laid out his concerns. 

Alibhai said he was owed $120,000 for two years of on-call work, and he cited a lack of respect for oral surgeons.

He gave his notice for Apr. 1.

The other oral surgeon, Dr. Shannon Davis, gave his notice within the past couple of weeks.

Officials from the province's health department said doctors who quit must give 90 days' notice. 

'Waiting for the unknown'

Lori O'Brien has been wearing braces for two years in preparation for surgery on her jaw. Two of her oral surgery appointments so far this year have been cancelled, and she has been told that she can't get her braces removed until after the procedure.

"I want to get this going, it's been almost two years now, it's been a year that I've been waiting," said O'Brien.

"I waited for my appointment with Dr. Alibhai, then I waited for my appointment with Dr. Davis, and now I'm waiting again for the unknown."

O'Brien said recovery time from the surgery is long and painful, and she can't make any plans until she receives her surgery.

"I have work, I have a little boy, I need to let my coworkers know, it's not good."

Mother concerned about daughter's cancelled appointment

Connie Hickey's 16-year-old daughter, Robyn, has cerebral palsy and has needed surgery on her jaw.


Connie Hickey says her daughter's oral surgery consultation appointment was cancelled without explanation. (CBC)

Hickey said her daughter's consultation appointment, scheduled for last week, was cancelled with no explanation. Hickey said she was told to call her daughter's orthodontist. 

"He [the orthodontist] said he doesn't have any plans right now and he has several other people waiting for surgeries," said Hickey. "And I asked if there was an emergency tomorrow what would happen and he told me the only option would be to fly them out of the province."

Hickey said she believes there is no excuse for the province to be in this situation.

"It seems very odd to me, the island is going backwards, not forwards," said Hickey. "When you have two qualified surgeons here and there's a problem with the government or MCP keeping them here?"

"You know, someone needs to sit down and work this out. You know, there's people that need oral surgeries."

90-day notice period yet to expire

A representative from the Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Association said the group is hopeful that something will be worked out between the oral surgeons and the province before the 90-day resignation notice time runs out. 

Newfoundland and Labrador's health department has confirmed that no one has yet been flown out of the province for oral surgery.

Eastern Health officials said they were not aware of any cancelled surgeries, and that the health board is attempting to recruit new oral surgeons.