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Pettapiece highlights local healthcare initiatives, doctor shortage

October 24, 2013

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Last week in Drayton, I learned more about the great work our local health care professionals are doing. The Minto-Mapleton and Mount Forest Family Health Teams shared exciting developments in local telemedicine. Their innovative use of telemedicine in diagnosing symptoms means many patients now receive a diagnosis from specialists within days, not months.

For patients and their loved ones in small and rural communities, the growing use of telemedicine means less travel to see specialists in major centres. It means fewer expenses for gas, meals and hotels, and less vacation time used.

It’s exciting to see how these advances in medical technology are revolutionizing local health care. Our local health care professionals in Perth–Wellington are leading the way, and they deserve our thanks.

We need the province to follow their lead in filling gaps where they exist. The doctor shortage is one example. Some of my constituents haven’t had a doctor for over two years. We in Perth–Wellington need more family physicians, and will need even more in the coming years. I’ve spoken with many of our local health care professionals, and repeatedly I’ve taken our concerns to the Minister of Health.

We need to know that the government is taking this issue seriously and that they have an effective plan. We need the province to work co-operatively with local hospitals and municipalities, providing the resources they need. We need to see leadership at the provincial level like we’re seeing at the local one.