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Despite decrease in radiologists, RQHR says patient care not affected

After more than 60 years the Radiology Associates of Regina (RAR) have had their contract terminated by the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR). Jochen Sand / The Canadian Press

REGINA – Despite a decrease in full time radiologists, the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region said it’s not affecting patient care.

Currently there are 18 radiologists who have full privileges within the district.

According to Dr. Kunal Goyal, department head of medical imaging at Regina General Hospital, the radiology department needs to hire four radiologists to be at full staffing capacity.

However he maintains that wait times have not increased and the department hasn’t cut back on the volume of work being done.

“The existing membership is being able to provide us with all the in-hospital work,” Goyal explained.

“But we do at the same time want to recruit some subspecialist for the people we’ve recently lost. So we have staffing which is adequate, but we want to improve on it.”

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As for any added stress, Goyal said no radiologists have been on stress leave and he’s unaware of any one seeking advice for stress.

“Clearly there’s work being done in the hospital, so if we’ve lost a few radiologists, the other radiologists who currently in the membership of this department are doing a little more than they were.

RQHR is currently in a labour dispute with Radiology Associates of Regina (RAR) over contract negotiations.

In February, Dr. Andrea Gourgaris, a spokesperson for RAR, suggested the dispute has led to experienced radiologists, including specialists, to leave.

READ MORE: Regina-area radiologists ask health minister to help resolve workplace dispute

According to Gourgaris, since January 1, four radiologists have resigned and in the last year and a half, she said a total of eight radiologists have left.

RAR had declined request for an interview and said the group “won’t be making any comments at this time.”

The health region said it hopes to be fully staffed by late summer. “We are hoping to complete our recruitment process over the next four to eight weeks”, Goyal said.

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