Pincher Creek doctors, government at odds over definition of formal notice

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He said the process allows for procedural fairness and due process.

According to the bylaws, doctors have to provide “reasonable support for the need or desirability of the change” and then their application can eventually be accepted, denied or amended. There is also an appeals process.

The Pincher Creek doctors didn’t fill out that form, Myhr said, because they would be giving up their hospital privileges which would be hard to get back when the dispute ends and that is not in the best interest of patients.

“Our surgeon waited 18 months to get a certain privilege in the hospital … and so (I) cannot blame him for being reluctant to give that up,” she said.

The purpose of giving notice is to have enough time to find replacements, she said, and doctors gave AHS more than 90 days.

In a statement to Postmedia Friday evening, AHS said officials told the Pincher Creek doctors about the process laid out in the bylaws.

The rules for physicians who voluntarily give up their hospital privileges, require a leave of absence, or decide to move to another community in Alberta are longstanding, AHS said.

Documentation is required so officials know whether they have to find someone to cover vacations or a new doctor if someone is leaving all together, according to the statement.

“Over the past two months, formal written notification and meetings with Pincher Creek physicians occurred to clarify the process for submitting a change request for privileges and/or a leave of absence. The physicians in Pincher Creek did not officially submit any documentation,” the statement says.

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