Don't replace vascular surgeon, committee says
Prince Edward Island should not hire a doctor to start doing vascular surgery on the Island again, a joint committee of Health PEI and the Medical Society recommends.
P.E.I. has not provided the service since the province's only vascular surgeon, Dr. Peter Midgley, handed in his resignation in February 2012. Midgley said he was overworked and the province needed a second vascular surgeon.
Since then, Midgley has been performing vascular surgery in Halifax, with his patient list including Islanders.
Health PEI CEO Dr. Richard Wedge said the committee looked at the history of doing vascular surgery on the Island, and looked ahead at the cost of continuing to do those surgeries out of province, or providing them on the Island.
Wedge said there's not a big difference in cost, but in Nova Scotia there is a group of surgeons who can care for patients year-round.
"Currently the recommendations are that we should look at leaving the vascular surgery program in Halifax," he said.
"But there are a number of other things that could be taken into account if you wanted to bring it back to Prince Edward Island: the O.R. availability, the need for more than one vascular surgeon, the availability of after-hours support for patients."
Wedge said the issue is now before the provincial medical advisory committee. That will make its recommendation to Health PEI's senior management in the next month. That information will be passed on to the board of Health PEI, then on to the minister of health.