August 24, 2011 11:46 am

N.L. surgeon Dr. John Haggie begins term as president of Canadian doctors group

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ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Dr. John Haggie, a general and vascular surgeon from Gander, N.L., has taken over the helm of the Canadian Medical Association.

Haggie was welcomed as new president on Wednesday by delegates attending the CMA’s annual meeting in his home province. The professional organization represents about 74,000 physicians across Canada.

“Canadians are worried about the capacity of the system to meet their medical needs in the future,” he said in his inaugural address to fellow physicians. “They are concerned about whether the system will be there, able to provide the right kind of care when and where they need it.

“This is the time when we, the medical profession, need to demonstrate leadership. We need to offer solutions to help craft an enduring and robust system, one that is sustainable, of high quality and accessible to all Canadians.”

Haggie said the CMA has listened to Canadians and worked hard to move the agenda on transforming the health-care system forward.

“Our challenge is to achieve some tangible results.”

Born in Manchester, England, Haggie completed his medical studies in general surgery at the University of Manchester and held several positions in the country’s northwest region. In 1993, he moved to St. Anthony, N.L., where he became consulting surgeon for the Grenfell Region Health Services.

In 1997, Haggie moved to Appleton, N.L., where he was appointed attending surgeon, general and vascular surgery, at the James Paton Memorial Hospital in Gander. He held this position until 2008, when he became chief of staff of the hospital, a position he still holds.

Haggie, who takes over the CMA presidency from Dr. Jeff Turnbull of Ottawa, will complete his one-year term next August.

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