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Hospital worried about locum shortage

By Tim Davidson Mar 1, 2024 | 10:49 AM

Lake of the Woods District Hospital is worried what will happen to it’s Emergency Room after March 31st.

That’s when an agreement for extra incentives for locum doctors comes to an end.

President and CEO Ray Racette says they can’t operate the ER without the locums.

“We have relying on the external locums to augment to what local physicians can do,” Racette said after a recent hospital board meeting.

“The reason why we have raised the alarm bell on this, at a recent medical staff meeting, it was made clear that we just don’t have the physicians.”

Racette adds the issue has come to a head as an agreement for enhanced pay for locums ends on March 31st.

“As of August to now the locums have been covering at least, I would say, 40 percent of our shifts every month.  Our physicians do not have the physical capacity to do 100 percent of coverage.  So we do need the locums.”

Racette says they are currently trying to staff the ER into April and May, but they are having a hard time because locums are reluctant to come here without the bonus payments.

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