Tignish doctor leaves 14 months after arriving in PEI.

A doctor from Tignish, PEI who has been practicing medicine on the island for just over a year is leaving the province.

Dr Peter Entwistle said last year he was looking for the right place to establish his practice and believed he had found it in Tignish.

Entwistle wouldn’t do a taped interview about his departure, but in a phone call with CBC News on Monday, he said he wasn’t retiring, he wasn’t sick, and he wasn’t. was not licensed.

He added that he was leaving with no other job and would look for work elsewhere, “but not in Prince Edward Island.”

According to Health PEI, the doctor’s departure leaves more than 2,000 patients without a family doctor.

Entwistle began seeing patients at Tignish Co-op Health Centre, a community health care center, in February 2021.

“This raises some concerns”

“The place where I work right now, Tignish, is a great place to work,” he told CBC News. in an interview at the time.

Health Minister Ernie Hudson says he is confident a doctor will be found for the Tignish Co-op Health Centre. (Tignish Cooperative Health Centre)

Entwistle trained as a doctor in the UK, but immigrated to Canada in part because of his frustrations with the healthcare system. He settled in British Columbia.

But his frustrations persisted, so much so that he ran as an independent candidate for the BC legislature to draw attention to some of the problems he saw in that province’s system.

The question of Entwistle’s departure was presented to the PEI Legislative Assembly. friday.

Hal Perry, MP for Tignish-Palmer Road, said he had been told Entwistle was retiring.

He said the loss of the community’s only doctor will be felt throughout the West PEI community.

“There are concerns about that,” Perry told reporters. “People want to have medical services provided locally.

The job has been posted

“But I understand that Health P.E.I. and the health care center staff, board and administrator are working very hard together to replace and recruit this doctor as soon as possible.

Health Minister Ernie Hudson would not go into detail about the reasons for Entwisle’s departure, citing confidentiality concerns. (Rick Gibbs/CBC)

Health Minister Ernie Hudson would not go into detail about the reasons for Entwistle’s departure, citing confidentiality concerns.

“The position was advertised for the Family Physician position outside of Tignish Health Center and additionally, cover, throughout the summer, by locums was arranged at this stage,” Hudson said.

“Nurse practitioners are available at the Tignish Health Clinic along with other services provided there.”

Health PEI also declined to say why Entwistle was leaving and if he had received any incentives to come to the province.

“We cannot comment on direct personnel issues or inducements received by individuals,” a spokesperson said in a statement to CBC News.

“A little surprised”

Wendy Arsenault, director of the Tignish Co-op Health Centre, agreed that the medical center is covered, through locum physicians and nurse practitioners, for the foreseeable future.

Wendy Arsenault, director of the Tignish Co-op Health Centre, says she was told Entwistle was retiring. (Wendy Arsenault)

“I was a little surprised and we were a little disappointed,” Arsenault said of the departure.

She added that Health P.E.I. is looking for a full-time doctor and “I’m sure they’ll find one”.

As to why Entwistle is leaving, Arsenault said he was told the doctor was retiring.

After hearing what Entwisle said about not retiring and working in Prince Edward Island, Arsenault said, “It’s absolutely new to me, because what he told me was that he was retiring.”

‘Cautious optimism’

The Medical Society of Prince Edward Island said in a statement: “Each time a physician makes the decision to leave Prince Edward Island, it is disappointing, but it is a very personal decision. We We will work closely with our healthcare partners to determine if there is anything to learn from these scenarios for future improvements in recruitment and retention.”

Entwistle and his wife, Sheri-Anne Entwhistle, moved to Prince Edward Island in early 2021. (Submitted by Dr. Peter Entwistle)

The last day of Entwistle is Friday.

According to Health PEI, patients should not register on the patient registry for fear of losing their place if a new doctor is hired.

Arsenault said the doctor only had limited emergency department coverage at nearby Western Hospital, so the impact on the local hospital should be minimal.

As for the health minister, Hudson said he was confident a doctor would be found for Tignish.

“I am cautiously optimistic, but optimistic, that this position will be filled,” he said.