Letters to the Editor

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Dedicated Doctor Disappointed with Clinic Cuts


Dr. Tanya Wood has stated she was "very disappointed" with the government's recent decision to reduce services at the Fredericton Sexual Health Clinic where she worked one afternoon per week for 18 years.

Wood, along with two of her colleagues, quit the clinic last week in protest against the cuts in sexual health services made by the Department of Public Health for the 20-24 age demographic in the province. The Department brought in new criteria in March that only provides services for those aged 19 and under.The resulting changes also cut the rotation between the four doctors at the clinic from six hours a week to two.

"We were dedicated to providing services to young people; we filled a gap in local sexual health services," she said.

Doctors at the clinic often saw female patients in their early twenties who's family doctor wouldn't prescribe birth control, but told the girls to go to the clinic where they would be provided with it.

"They were from all walks of life, middle class to low-income, even young civil servants who were new in town and didn't have a family doctor," said Wood.

The government said the changes were made to better serve the 19 and under age group where the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise. Public health nurses will be put in place to focus on the problem.

- With files from CBC NB website

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