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N.B. hospital loses fourth oncologist within weeks

Click to play video: 'N.B. hospital loses fourth oncologist in weeks, patient ‘devastated’' N.B. hospital loses fourth oncologist in weeks, patient ‘devastated’
WATCH ABOVE: Amid staffing shortages in the New Brunswick health system, a Moncton hospital has confirmed it is losing another two oncologists after two already resigned just weeks ago. Suzanne Lapointe has the story – Jun 18, 2022

In the midst of staffing shortages within the New Brunswick health system, a Moncton hospital has confirmed it is losing another two oncologists after two resigned just weeks ago.

Vitalité Health Network told Global News on Friday that a fourth oncologist had resigned from the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in the span of a month and half.

They have already hired replacements for the two oncologists departing in July. But one is set to start sometime over the course of the next year, and the other will only start in 2023.

Click to play video: 'Hospital in Moncton losing 2 oncologists amid staffing shortages' Hospital in Moncton losing 2 oncologists amid staffing shortages
Hospital in Moncton losing 2 oncologists amid staffing shortages – May 30, 2022

Robbie Landry, a Miramichi resident who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2021, was distressed to learn his oncologist will soon be leaving the province.

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“Very unsettling,” he said. “(I’m) kind of angry actually. I was devastated.”

Landry has already had several surgeries delayed. The news of his specialist leaving has has only added to his stress.

Though Landry said his oncologist believes he is now cancer-free, he still needs to have several follow-up appointments to ensure he remains in good health.

“They did tell me I was gonna be referred to somebody else, but they haven’t hired an oncologist yet to replace her.”

Read more: COVID-19: N.B. nurses ‘struggling’ with physical and mental exhaustion, union says

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for Vitalité said the health network will ensure a continuity of care for all oncology patients.

“Patients directly affected by the departure of this specialist will be contacted by the Oncology Centre within the coming weeks,” wrote spokesperson Thomas Lizotte.

“The Network thanks patients and their loved ones for their understanding under these difficult circumstances and apologizes for any inconvenience that may result.”

Meanwhile, Landry hopes he will be able to access some help for his mental health through the health system, as he says the ups and downs of treatment and recovery have affected him mentally in a way he hadn’t expected.

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