To The Editor,
Reading the article in The Review about the medical center in Casselman, I think it is important to explain more clearly what is going on in Casselman, especially with the R10 score in order to have more doctors.
Twelve years ago as the mayor, I did spend a weekend in Ottawa at the graduation ceremonies of new doctors with Dr. Patenaude in order to recruit new doctors for Casselman. There were 17 new doctors who were interested in working in Casselman. Three months later, I asked Dr. Patenaude how many were coming to Casselman and his answers was, “none.” Therefore, I did call two potential doctors as to why they were not coming and their answers were simple: “Why go to Casselman when we can make the same money in Ottawa?”
Investigating the matter, I found out that the R10 score in Casselman was 40 for the density and this is a policy established by the Ministry of Health. This meant that it would have to be changed in order to have more doctors.
I was in Toronto to discuss the matter and they agreed that someone would come to Casselman to look at the R10 score.
Someone from the Ministry was in Casselman and after finding out the number fo patients that the clinic had, the Ministry wanted to have statistics from the clinic as to where patients were coming from around Casselman. With these figures, they were willing to possibly change the R10 score.
In the last 12 years, I did ask three times for these figures so I could be in Toronto to see the new Minister in September to discuss the possibility of changing the criteria. The Nation does not have this problem because of its population of 12,600 people.
This is very strange, since the population determines the R10 score. In Toronto, many because of its large population, there are so many new doctors that they even organize BBQs in order to attract new patients.
Casselman has and is also willing to help the clinic. In the past 12 years, we even helped the Imagerie Casselman (for x-rays, etc.) to be able to operate without paying $50,000 for their equipment.
Since we are a growing community, we sure want to help the medical clinic, however, they will have to do their homework so the Ministry of Health can change the rules. We will just have to keep trying with the Ministry.
Mayor of Casselman