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LGH’s full-time physiatrist leaving in October


When Christopher Mitchelmore heard that Labrador-Grenfell Health will be losing its only regional psychiatrist – Dr. Mistry – it caused the MHA to become concerned.

Mitchelmore said “Dr. Mistry has been instrumental in helping support mental health services in the region that are duly needed,” he said in a letter to LGH CEO Tony Wakeham. “Mental health issues are very sensitive and the value of building a relationship with a professional is paramount to dealing with issues and illness.”
Mitchelmore’s greatest concern is finding a timely replacement, stating that the last time a psychiatrist left it took two years to find a replacement and he hasn’t noticed any active recruitment for the position taking place.
“The impending departure of the only permanent psychiatrist in the region does nothing but create an environment for a mental health crisis for those needing access to the service,” he said.
Mitchelmore is calling for swift action from the department.
In response to Mitchelmore’s comments, a Labrador-Grenfell Health statement says it provides a full range of mental health services within its region, which is provided through a total of 39 clinical staff.
While there is only one full-time regional psychiatrist, there are three visiting psychiatrists who service the region on a regular basis, and Mental Health Nurses, Mental Health Counsellors and Clinical Psychologists are located in hospitals, health centres and community clinics throughout the region.
The authority also says advances in telecommunications have resulted in the growth and usage of tele-psychiatry, which Labrador-Grenfell Health has the capacity to deliver services effectively through the use of technology.
“All members of the mental health team are well-trained and dedicated health professionals who work together to provide a wide range of mental health and addictions services to clients,” reads the statement.
With regards to Dr. Mistry’s departure, the Authority says from time to time health professionals advise Labrador-Grenfell Health of their intention to leave the region and practice elsewhere, and the full-time psychiatrist currently employed by LGH has served notice that he will be leaving the position in mid-October.
While LGH has the capacity for two permanent, full-time positions for psychiatrists, the Health Authority has chosen to fill one of the positions and utilize the resources for the second position to hire three psychiatrists who provide services through regular visitations to hospital sites in the region.
“It’s been the long-standing practice of Labrador-Grenfell Health to recruit health professionals on a continual basis in anticipation that positions will require to be filled,” the statement reads. “The Health Authority doesn’t wait for vacancies to occur. Some positions are more difficult to fill than others, due to the fact that many health authorities in the province and Canada are also actively recruiting for health professionals.”
However, the Practice NL website currently has postings for three psychiatry positions in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region, as well as two postings for positions in Carbonear and Corner Brook.
The statement concluded by saying, “Several psychiatrists have expressed strong interest in coming to the region to provide services and discussions with those health professionals are ongoing.”

Mitchelmore said “Dr. Mistry has been instrumental in helping support mental health services in the region that are duly needed,” he said in a letter to LGH CEO Tony Wakeham. “Mental health issues are very sensitive and the value of building a relationship with a professional is paramount to dealing with issues and illness.”
Mitchelmore’s greatest concern is finding a timely replacement, stating that the last time a psychiatrist left it took two years to find a replacement and he hasn’t noticed any active recruitment for the position taking place.
“The impending departure of the only permanent psychiatrist in the region does nothing but create an environment for a mental health crisis for those needing access to the service,” he said.
Mitchelmore is calling for swift action from the department.
In response to Mitchelmore’s comments, a Labrador-Grenfell Health statement says it provides a full range of mental health services within its region, which is provided through a total of 39 clinical staff.
While there is only one full-time regional psychiatrist, there are three visiting psychiatrists who service the region on a regular basis, and Mental Health Nurses, Mental Health Counsellors and Clinical Psychologists are located in hospitals, health centres and community clinics throughout the region.
The authority also says advances in telecommunications have resulted in the growth and usage of tele-psychiatry, which Labrador-Grenfell Health has the capacity to deliver services effectively through the use of technology.
“All members of the mental health team are well-trained and dedicated health professionals who work together to provide a wide range of mental health and addictions services to clients,” reads the statement.
With regards to Dr. Mistry’s departure, the Authority says from time to time health professionals advise Labrador-Grenfell Health of their intention to leave the region and practice elsewhere, and the full-time psychiatrist currently employed by LGH has served notice that he will be leaving the position in mid-October.
While LGH has the capacity for two permanent, full-time positions for psychiatrists, the Health Authority has chosen to fill one of the positions and utilize the resources for the second position to hire three psychiatrists who provide services through regular visitations to hospital sites in the region.
“It’s been the long-standing practice of Labrador-Grenfell Health to recruit health professionals on a continual basis in anticipation that positions will require to be filled,” the statement reads. “The Health Authority doesn’t wait for vacancies to occur. Some positions are more difficult to fill than others, due to the fact that many health authorities in the province and Canada are also actively recruiting for health professionals.”
However, the Practice NL website currently has postings for three psychiatry positions in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region, as well as two postings for positions in Carbonear and Corner Brook.
The statement concluded by saying, “Several psychiatrists have expressed strong interest in coming to the region to provide services and discussions with those health professionals are ongoing.”

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