Doctor left uncertain about future on P.E.I.
A Charlottetown doctor still has concerns about his profession's relationship with the P.E.I. government, despite the health minister's offer to make amends for an error last month.
Dr. Stirling Keizer was one of 24 doctors on contract in the province who received letters from Health PEI in June saying he must switch to a salary or fee-for-service model. The letter called the contracts a "potential tax liability."
But it turned out there was no tax liability. The letter was retracted, but not before Keizer made a costly switch to a fee-for-service practice.
"Folks have been out of pocket," he told CBC News Wednesday.
"I've been out of pocket for several thousand dollars trying to supply a new office."
In addition to buying supplies for the new clinic, Keizer had to lay off two staff.
In addition to admitting to the error, Health Minister Carolyn Bertram offered this week to compensate doctors for their losses, though she would not say if that offer would be extended to nurses and other medical staff who may have lost work.
Opposition leader Olive Crane believes politics played a role in the Minister's decision to look into compensation for the error made by Health PEI, which was set up to be an independent agency to administer health care in the province.
"One minute they stay totally away and then they come in at the last minute, because we are in an election year, to try and backtrack," said Crane.
Keizer is pleased to see the compensation offer, but he remains concerned.
"They're trying to repair, hopefully mend some fences with the physicians," he said.
"The big thing we're all fearing is that once the contracts are re-established, how long will they really last for? This is something that's going to be ongoing? Or is it just going to be a couple months, 6 months, or a year and then they'll be rescinded again."
Keizer hasn't yet decided yet if he'll continue on with the switch to fee for service or return to his contract. He did say if his relationship with Health PEI doesn't improve over the next year, he'll leave the province.