Doctor angry with Health P.E.I.

Another family doctor is speaking out against Health P.E.I.

Another family doctor is speaking out against Health P.E.I.

Stirling Keizer said that in June, the College of Family Physicians presented him with an award celebrating his work training new doctors.

Yet around the same time he received a letter from Health P.E.I. telling him his contract would be terminated. Earlier in the year, he found himself the subject of a Canadian Revenue Agency audit because of Health P.E.I.

"You sort of felt justified that you're doing a good job despite what the government's implying," he said of the award.

He and his wife Heather, a psychiatrist, were both among the 24 contract doctors in the province who got government letters in June saying their contracts would be terminated.

The letter said they could chose a salary position or a fee-for-service model. The Keizers both decided to become fee-for-service doctors, which meant they had to find a smaller clinic to reduce overhead.

They paid for new supplies and laid off one nurse and one receptionist.

"It was really hard. You know basically I went in first thing in the morning, sat down and told them the letter had come, and the change would have to happen," he said.

But the whole situation proved unnecessary, as in July,  Health P.E.I. wrote a second letter rescinding the first. Keizer said it was too late to help them.

Health P.E.I. triggered CRA audit

It was not the first run-in he had with the organization. In January, Health P.E.I. told Keizer it thought his employment status was in conflict with tax laws.

He was audited by CRA, who found no problems with his account.

"I felt betrayed in some respects, because I'm very scrupulous," he said.

Health P.E.I. officials later said its officers had misunderstood tax laws.

"Sorry just doesn't seem to cut it. Somebody, somewhere, has made a big mistake. And I don't know whether it was incompetence, deceit or whatever," Keizer said.

Keizer and his family hope that the situation improves within the next year. If it doesn't, they may leave the province.

Already, more than 10,000 Islanders are without a family doctor.

Carolyn Bertram, the health minister, was unavailable for comment.