Windsor-Essex still short on doctors, specialists
Windsor Regional Hospital chief of staff says region needs 50 specialists, 50 doctors
Windsor-Essex is still short on doctors and long on wait times.
According to the most recent statics provided by the Erie St. Clair Local Integrated Health Network, the region in 2010 had 64 specialists per 100,000 people.
Windsor-Essex has one of the lowest specialist-to-patient ratios in the province.
The chief of staff at Windsor Regional Hospital said, "we're only slightly ahead of where we were 10 years ago."
"We should easily recruit another 50 specialists and another 50 family physicians. That’s the minimum," Dr. Gary Ing said. "We could use more."
The region needs more cardiologists, more neurosurgeons and more psychiatrists, Ing said.
Windsor has four neurosurgeons. A patient can wait two years for an appointment.
"They are very busy. There’s a nationwide shortage of neurosurgeons," Ing said.
Dr. Amr Morsi is one of 10 cardiologists in the Windsor. To get an appointment with him, patients could have to wait three months.
"I think the frustration is wanting to deliver the best service I can, both at the hospital and in my office and all the different places we need to be," he said.
Morsi said he isn't "as available and attentive to the patients as [he would] like to be."
Shortages across the board
Robert Edwards, meanwhile, waited six months to see a skin doctor for a rash on his arm.
"It is frustrating to wait because I had it on my arm and I was scratching and scratching until sometimes it was bleeding a little bit. I used the cream that I had at home and everything but it don't work," he said. "You have to get the right stuff to make it work."
Omnia Ibrahim waited six months for her son to see an allergy and asthma specialist.
"We know, at least now, what exactly to avoid. We didn't know. He was even taking his brother's medication until we found out what was actually wrong," Ibrahim said. "Waiting for six months that's a really long time."
The provincial average is 100 specialists per 100,000.
Ing and Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj predict more doctors will come to and remain in the city because of the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and promise of a new megahospital.
"We've built a lot of bridges. We’re making significant strides," Ing said. "Five or six years from now, hopefully the students who graduated from Windsor will look at us."