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Sault and area vascular surgery patients often being referred to other cities for treatment

Sault Area Hospital says its using several approaches in dealing with gaps in service

Sault Area Hospital management says the healthcare facility is using a “combination of approaches” in dealing with the need for vascular surgeons.

“The approaches used could be the use of locums, rescheduling of clinics, or sending patients to other centres when warranted. Routinely, we have always had some patients requiring vascular surgery who are sent to other centres depending on their care needs,” replied Brandy Sharp Young, SAH manager of communications and volunteer resources, in an email to SooToday.

“As with all specialties, whenever there are gaps in service, urgent cases are sent to other centres for care,” Sharp Young wrote.

Sharp Young stated SAH currently has one vascular surgeon on its medical staff.

“Our recommended complement is one. Currently, the Sault Ste. Marie Physician Recruitment and Retention Program has undertaken recruitment efforts as part of succession planning for the SAH vascular surgery program,” Sharp Young wrote.

In addition, and apart from the vascular surgery program, SAH is in the planning phase for delivery of angioplasty services, anticipating a 2018 start for that service, Sharp Young wrote.

Angioplasty is a procedure in which a catheter is used on a cardiac patient to insert a stent to open up clogged blood vessels in the heart.

Approval to perform angioplasty was recently granted to SAH. 

The SAH cardiology program is currently developing angioplasty services with support from Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital.