This week’s article, ‘Outlook town council previous minutes and motions’, which appears in the July 16 print edition and on our website, apparently contained some information that was both misleading and intended to remain confidential for the time being surrounding physicians in town.
Ria Mynhardt, financial manager and recruitment officer of the Outlook Medical Clinic, reached out to The Outlook to discuss the Joint Health Committee meeting minutes that were published in last week’s edition. The minutes were adopted and carried at the July 8 town council meeting and then provided to The Outlook for publication.
The health meeting minutes, dated July 2, stated the following regarding the immediate future of two of the medical clinic’s practicing physicians:
“The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Doctor Recruitment, as Councillor Applin had recently been informed that Dr. Padilla will be resigning effective September 2020 due to the recent toll the increased on-call schedule has taken on her personal health. Also reported was that Dr. Alandary plans to resign upon expiration of his contract in October 2020, which would leave the clinic with only one doctor (Dr. Mynhardt).”
Ria invited The Outlook to sit down and discuss what was published, clarifying a number of points that were written in the meeting minutes, notably in relation to the futures of Dr. Padilla and Dr. Alandary.
“She does have her house for sale, she is planning on leaving, but there is no timeline yet,” said Ria, touching on Dr. Padilla while speaking to this reporter at the medical clinic. “She doesn’t have a date set, and she will let her patients know via the newspaper exactly when her last day in the office will be. She’s been telling people that, so when this came out in the paper and in the minutes that say she’s leaving in September, she had a few upset patients and she was quite upset. She is planning on leaving, but she doesn’t know when and it wasn’t planning to be made public yet.”
Mynhardt also clarified that Dr. Alandary has not made any confirmed decisions about his future once his physician contract is up this fall.
“The second statement that is also a problem is stating that Dr. Alandary will be leaving,” she said. “His three-year contract is up on, to be more precise, October 4th. Then he can stay or he can leave without any penalties or anything like that. He hasn’t indicated anything to us. The only thing they asked me was, ‘When is his contract up?’ and I told them and then they asked, ‘Is he leaving?’ and I said I don’t know. He doesn’t know either, and it’s not an easy decision to make for a physician. He’s made no decision one way or another, and those minutes make it sound like he will be leaving. Dr. Alandary has not made any decisions whatsoever whether he’ll be staying or not once his contract is up on October 4th.”
The Health Committee meeting minutes also noted that Dr. Hein Mynhardt had been invited to the meeting but "did not attend as originally planned", something Ria also wanted to shed light on.
“He was invited to a Health Foundation meeting, and he was also very, very busy that day,” she said. “He got home about a half an hour after he was supposed to start attending the meeting and completely forgot about it until the next morning when I phoned him and said, ‘You missed the meeting last night that they asked you to attend!’, and he did apologize to them. So, I thought that was just kind of a snide remark, and in context with the rest of the minutes, that statement puts him in a certain light.”
As well, Ria explained some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes on to try and recruit new doctors, noting that there was an inaccuracy in the meeting minutes when it comes to the length of time involved.
“Another thing that wasn’t quite accurate was SIPPA,” she said, going on to describe the process. “The Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment is what it stands for. Through SaskDocs is who recruits physicians to Saskatchewan, and these doctors have to be deemed eligible for full registration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, then SaskDocs accepts them into the SIPPA program. Now, say for instance that we recruit a physician – that physician then gets placed in a community that has nothing to do with us for 12 weeks to do a physical assessment of their practice capabilities and how confident of a physician they are. It also involves two weeks of classroom setting education so that the physicians understand what it is to come into a rural community to practice and what is expected of them. It lasts about 14 weeks, and in these minutes, it says that SIPPA lasts a year.”