Dr. Wassim Salamoun

Dr. Wassim Salamoun, medical director of the Prince County Hospital, says the hospital is still doing urgent and semi-urgent surgeries despite the anesthetist shortage. (Maggie Brown/CBC)

Close to 40 people have had their elective surgeries rescheduled because of an anesthetist shortage at Prince County Hospital in Summerside.

One of the hospital's three anesthetists resigned earlier this summer.

With previously scheduled summer vacations for the other two specialists, the hospital has had to cancel and try to reschedule elective surgeries.

'I'm sick, I'm tired. So it's really wearing down on a person.' - Shawnna Gaudet

"Some of them we've managed to reschedule them in the very near future, but total it will be close to about 40 elective surgeries," said Dr. Wassim Salamoun, medical director at the PCH.

There is still 24-hour emergency coverage and the hospital is able to do urgent and semi-urgent surgeries, says Salamoun.

He says the PCH has had locum — or fill-in — anesthetists and are hoping to have more. The hospital is also looking for a new full-time anesthetist. 

Shawnna Gaudet from the O'Leary area was supposed to have a hysterectomy in July. Then the procedure was moved to this week, and again postponed. Now, she doesn't know when she'll have the elective surgery.

"I'm sick, I'm tired, I can't go on normally every day and function normally every day as if I would have a couple of years ago. So it's really wearing down on a person," she said.