Members of the Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) announced their endorsement for a Chatham-only ER plan earlier this week.
During the question period of the media conference, the Sydenham Current asked the panel how much feedback they received from the emergency room physicians at both the emergency rooms in Wallaceburg and Chatham, before making their decision.
Dr. Ranjith Chandrasena, chief of medical staff at CKHA, said a “robust discussion” was had with the ER doctors of the CKHA.
“The chiefs of the department are part of the Medical Advisory Committee. They have input of their members… we had a robust discussion and it was unanimously approved that this is what is best for all people that live in Chatham-Kent,”Dr. Chandrasena said.
“We also have to remember that all of us as chiefs, we also work in the ER when we get called out. So we have a good understanding of what goes on.”
Dr. Indraneel Ghosh, chief of emergency medicine and the senior medical director of strategy, access and flow, said there were some physicians that disagreed with the MAC endorsement.
“I go back to the word courage,” Dr. Ghosh said.
“There may be groups or individuals that disagree with the position, they may be in agreement. You still have to do the right thing, it’s about courage. You have to do the right thing. So all the physicians who may disagree with us, and I will tell you from the one meeting that we had to discuss this at length they were the minority. If I was to ask them if it were your family member where would you go… I think the answer would be very different than ‘well, I’m going to go to Sydenham because that is where I work.’ Once we had the data up and they knew, and personalized it, it could be very different.”
Dr. Ghosh added: “So, just because a couple of individuals disagree, do we shy away from doing the wrong thing, I don’t think so. All of us are here today, we’ve taken the extra time, I appreciate you taking the extra time… it’s about doing the right thing. This is about having courage and conviction to do the right thing and just as we will continue to do the right thing, even though some days it is difficult, like today.”
Dr. Ghosh also had some advice for the media.
“We hope that as you go out and report this out that you’ll do the right thing, and will ask the right people the right questions,” he said.
“You will print information that is correct, make sure your sources are right and we hope you will do your best to elate public fears and public concerns and point them in the right direction.”
Dr. Elizabeth Haddad, chief of surgery and the senior medical director for performance and utilizations, said the MAC makes decisions as a group.
“Our job as chiefs, particularly on the MAC, is not to make decisions based on our individual opinion,” she said.
“Our job is to make decisions that our group would feel as clinicians would be best for the care of our community. Individually, one person’s thoughts and opinions are not necessarily what is best for overall. That is what we have to do as chiefs.”
Here is our detailed report of the media conference: Chatham-only ER plan endorsed
Here is the reaction of the Sydenham District Hospital board, who were present at the conference: SDH board responds to doctors’ endorsement
– Photo: From left, Dr. Indraneel Ghosh, Dr. Ranjith Chandrasena and Dr. Elizabeth Haddad.