To cut wait lists, doctors cutting holidays
Hoping to whittle down wait lists, seven specialists in Saskatoon have decided to give up a week's holidays this year.
Dr. Kishore Visvanathan is one of the seven urologists at a medical office who'll be staying on the job an extra week this year.
He said it wasn't difficult to convince the six other doctors he works with to try it out.
"It was unanimous. It was immediate," he said. "Everyone just said, 'Yeah, we want to do this. We want to get this done. We want to get our wait lists down, to see our patients quicker. So let's give up the week of holidays and get this done.'"
Visvanathan, who didn't say how many weeks of holidays he'll take, figures his office can see 850 patients during the wait list blitz.
It's his latest attempt to get rid of his office's backlog, he said, adding he's been working on making his practice more efficient for the past three years.
It's a creative approach to a chronic problem, said Dr. Milo Fink, past president of the Saskatchewan Medical Association.
And more of that kind of creative thinking is needed, he said.
"I think this is the only way we are going to save our health care system," Fink said.
Visvanathan said he hopes the idea catches on around the province.
If more doctors cut back on their holidays, he'll get fewer referrals and it will make it easier on his practice, he said. Patients will also get speedier service, he said.