The cancellation of an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Timmins last week nearly forced the closure of the emergency department at Notre Dame Hospital in Hearst. Doctor recruitment coordinator Melanie Goulet says the hospital was able to make an arrangement with the locum doctor who was already working in the ER to stay for another shift.
“I would say right now half of the month is locum doctors in the ER,” she said. “We also have some working different locations in the hospital to so I could easily have 2 – 3 locums in our community at a time.”
She adds that’s she contacted all of the locums who service the hospital to consider other options.
“To check if they are on that flight and maybe modify,” she said. “It’s unfortunate because the earlier flight is very early is like seven or six or something like in the morning that so it makes travel days very long.”
Goulet says some doctors have booked multiple flights to ensure they arrive up north, while others are even driving. She adds that another option might be to consider talking to local pilots who have an aircraft that might be interested in flying in the doctors.