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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Campbell Drive Medical Centre Closes Doors

If you have been calling the Campbell Drive Medical Clinic trying to book an appointment with no success, there is a good reason. It has a sign posted on the front door which reads……The Clinic is Permanently closed and to see a physician you should call one of the other three in KV, the West-Side or Crown Street. The clinic has been seeing patients for several years and is sure to put a strain on an already under-staffed Emergency Department at the Regional. There are currently only eight doctors available and newly appointed recruitment specialist Dr. Howlett is trying to get that number up to 22.
Superstore Store Manager Dave Arsenault Tells CHSJ News, he was not told why the clinic was shut down but doesn’t expect it will be for long. There has been a lot of interest from medical professionals about leasing the space.

MLA Says Community Needs to Be Involved in Health Care System

Saint John Fundy MLA Stuart Jamieson says community involvement will help improve health care in the province.
Jamieson tells CHSJ News, he will be taking concerns he heard at last night medical society meeting back to the Premier and Health Minister Schryer. He says billing restrictions, and the unhappiness relating to contract negotiations will be two major issues he takes with him.
Dr. Robert Rae responded to Jamieson's comments by saying his government took the community out of health care by reducing the number of Regional Health Authorities.
Rae says a major problem is that all decisions relating to Saint John are made in Fredericton.

Billing Restrictions Major Concern

[Dr. Robert Rae, Dr. Michael Simonds, and Dr. Mary Jarratt at Saint John Medical Society Meeting----Photo by Dave Briggs]

A restriction on the amount of billing numbers available to doctors is a major concern from residents and members of the Saint John medical society.This province puts a limit on the amount billable medicare numbers for doctors, which means there are not enough to go around to new physicians.Mayor Ivan Court says as a member of the Friends of St. Josephs the concern has been on the table for years, and it's the cause of a lot of stress on doctors.
President of the society Dr. Mary Jarrett outlined billing number restrictions as one of the most harmful aspect of New Brunswick health care for recruiting and retaining new doctors.

Parking Near Allison Grounds About To Get Expensive

They've been nice -- but -- that's about to change -- city police have been handing out warnings about parking along Allison Road next to the Allison Grounds.
But -- beginning next week -- they're going to start handing out 30-illegal parking tickets.
Police say cars parked on both sides of the road have been a problem especially during ball games in the evening -- and -- it's illegal.
So -- they're giving you fair warning not to park on Allison Road.

More Work Scheduled On New Interchange Project

It may look quiet around the site of the new One Mile Interchange from the throughway to Russell Street -- but -- it won't remain that way for long.
The provincial Transporation Department expects to award contracts for the second phase of construction in the coming weeks.
The work will include electrical installations and other site preparation -- total cost of the project is in the 55-million dollar range with completion set for 2012.

Medical I-T Firm Gets Federal Funds

Saint John M-P Rodney Weston bringing Christmas in July for a city based medical I-T company.
Weston has handed over a 375-thousand dollar cheque to MedSenses to help with continued development of enhanced e-learning for nurses and delivery of health care through new communication technologies.
The money is coming through the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program.

Provincial Health Officials Bracing For The Worst

A grim prediction from public health officials in this province -- the deputy chief medical officer of health says the number of cases of H-1-N-1 flu will increase in the coming weeks -- and -- the number of people hospitalized will be on the upswing as well.
Dr Paul Van Buynder says 41-cases have been confirmed -- double the number last week -- but -- based on information from other jurisidictions -- that may just be the tip of the iceberg and the number may actually be in the hundreds.
Van Buynder says plans are in place for a vaccination program once supplies of the anti-virus are in place by early December.
Meantime -- a person hospitalized last week with the so called Swine Flu has been released.

Is There a Problem with Bringing New Doctors to SJ

Health Minister Mary Schryer will not be at an open house tonight to discuss doctor retention and recruitement but the Graham Liberals will be represented. Roly MacIntyre who represents Saint John East and Stuart Jamieson from Saint John Fundy will take part in the Saint John Medical Society's open house at Sant John High. MacIntyre tells CHSJ News, this problem is not unique to Saint John.

MacIntyre says Health Minister Schryer not being at this meeting is a non-issue. He will provide her and Premier Graham with a full update on what was said at the caucus meeting tomorrow.

Nurse Recruitement Appears to be Working

While the drive to bring new doctors to the region is slow....the same cannot be said for new nurses. Regional Health Authority "B" is welcoming 174 new nursing graduates to it's health care team. A campaign was launched back in March to target new graduates offering them a full-time job in the zone of their choice.

Of the 174, 34 new nursing graduates have decided to hang their shingle in Moncton, 55 here in Saint John, 57 in Fredericton, 9 in the Upper River Valley and 14 to the Miramichi.

NDP Say No To Election

The Provincial NDP Party is siding with the governing Liberals about all this talk of an election this fall. They say no and that Premier Graham will stick to his legislation of not dropping the writ until the full four year term is done. That would be September 27th of next year but the Conservatives are leary that an election call is coming sooner rather than later. NDP Leader Robert Duguay tells CHSJ News, they continue the re-building phase of the party.

Duguay says his party is more ready for an election now than they were one month before the writ was dropped in 2006.

City Fire Department Kept Busy

Someone stuck in an elevator and a fire in Millidgeville......two of the calls for City Fire-fighters last night. They received a call to Compu-College on Prince William Street about someone being stuck in the elevator. A technician arrived and the person was set free about an hour after it got stuck between floors with no injuries.

Crews were then called to Millidgeville around 7:30pm to the wharf near the Penninsula Princess Ferry. Welders were doing some work down there earlier in the day and some-how a spark from a torch was re-ignited and started a fire. Crews had the flames under control in about twenty minutes and the wharf suffered no damage.

Gas Prices Continue to Fall

For the fourth straight week.....the price of gasoline is down. The Energy and Utilities Board has released it's weekly price schedule and the maximum retail price for a litre of self-serve is 91.7. That is down almost a nickel from last week with most stations in the metro showing a posted pump price of 91.9 which is down from 96.7.

Diesel is down almost four cents at 90.1 and furnace oil takes a nice hit as well dropping to 70.9. Propane is down almost four cents at 82.9.

Doctors Hold Open House Tonight

Concerns about physician resources not being able to meet public expectations is prompting a town hall meeting this evening. It's being hosted by the Saint John Medical Society which is worried we are quickly approaching that point -- and -- Mayor Ivan Court tells CHSJ News part of the problem is a cap on billing numbers for doctors.

Court says he wants to know why more family doctors aren't being tapped for staffing the emergency room at the Regional Hospital. Tonight's meeting is being held at Saint John High and is scheduled to begin at 7.

Two Attempted Robberies

The file into a rash of robberies and attempted robberies continues to grow for the Major Crime Unit. A man wearing a hoodie walked into the Courtney Bay Inn at HayMarket Square just after eleven o'clock. He had no weapon but demanded cash from the clerk twice. She told him no and he ran from the hotel. The just after one o'clock......a man fitting the description of someone who has pulled off four robberies in a week, walked into the Linn Chaw Restaurant on Bayside Drive just after one this morning.

He had a weapon and demanded cash but the clerk also refused before the man ran out of the restaurant. City Police tell us he fits the description of the man they are looking for after three businesses in East Saint John were robbed last week and a pool hall on the West Side was held up this week.