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July 4, 2003
For immediate release

Two New Doctors Begin Locum Terms at the Souris Hospital

Health and Social Services

Betty Fraser, CEO of Kings Health Region, today welcomed two new locum doctors to the Souris Hospital.

Dr. Haider Ali began locum coverage on July 2 and will continue this work for the next six months. Dr. Ralph September, who will begin on August 11, has indicated he will stay for one year.

In total, six locum doctors will be serving the people of Souris and surrounding areas at the hospital and the Family Health Centre at varying times during July and August.

"Physician shortages in Souris in the past have resulted in difficulties ensuring on-call emergency coverage," said Ms. Fraser. "However, thanks to the efforts of staff at the hospital and the added locum coverage, we are able to keep the emergency room open throughout the summer."

"I am pleased to see that Dr. Steve O'Brien will be able to take a much deserved vacation this summer," said the Chief Executive Officer. "I want to assure the people of the community that a replacement has been arranged to ensure continued care when Dr. O'Brien is on holiday.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the permanent physicians, locums and hospital staff who continue to provide high quality health care to the people of the region. I also extend thanks to the residents of Souris and surrounding areas for their patience and tolerance as we work to provide services to meet their needs and expectations.

When Dr. Ambrose Kennedy leaves in mid-July, there will be a third opening for a full-time permanent position at the Souris Hospital.

"Kings Health Region is working with the Department of Health and Social Services and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of PEI to expedite opportunities for foreign trained physicians to practice family medicine in the area," said Ms. Fraser. "We are working to attract a physician who is interested in permanently relocating with his family from Ontario. When we have confirmation on this, I will be sharing the good news with the community."

Media Contact: Connie McNeill
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