Nfld. & Labrador

Springdale doctor takes fight for hospital privileges to court

A Springdale doctor is taking his fight for hospital privileges to the Supreme Court in St. John's.

Dr. Todd Young wants Central Health to reconsider decision to deny privileges

Dr. Todd Young, who admitted to inappropriate relationships with patients while he worked at the Green Bay Health Centre, is fighting to have his right to admit patients to the hospital restored. (Carolyn Stokes/CBC)

A Springdale doctor is taking his fight for hospital privileges to the Supreme Court in St. John's.

Dr. Todd Young, who served a 19-month suspension after he admitted to having a three-year relationship with a former patient, is fighting to restore his privileges to admit and treat patients at the local hospital.

He's treating patients again at his practice in Springdale, but in March Central Health denied Young's request to admit patients to the Green Bay Health Centre for emergencies or palliative care.

That means Young is unable to treat his patients while they are in the hospital, or conduct procedures using hospital facilities.

A rally was held by some of Young's patients and supporters in the community in hopes of getting Central Health to change their mind last month, but the health authority is standing by their decision.

Wants Central Health to reconsider

On Friday, Young and his lawyer Jerome Kennedy asked Justice William Goodridge to force Central Health to take another look at his application.

Kennedy said in court that Young is the only physician in Central Health's system that has been denied hospital admission privileges and argued the decision was unreasonable and biased.

He said the person in authority at Central Health made a moral decision, and not an objective one.

According to Kennedy, Young has already served his suspension, but he continues to be punished.

Central Health's lawyer Michelle Willette maintained that the decision to deny Young hospital privileges was fair, adding Young didn't meet the necessary criteria.

She said that past misconduct was considered in the decision, and that Central Health feels Young broke its trust.

His past, said Willette, could make him a legal liability.

Young said over 3,000 people have requested him as a family physician in Springdale, and hospital privileges are an important part of care in rural areas.

Justice Goodridge offered no ruling on Friday, and said he needs more time to assess the complicated case.

He said he has to weigh the options and decide whether Central Health can continue to deny Young privileges, or if it must reconsider his application using a committee or arbitrator.

With files from Carolyn Stokes