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Give qualified local physician hospital privileges for obstetrics

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We, the undersigned, petition the executives and directors of the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital to immediately extend privileges for obstetrics to qualified local family practitioners. It has come to our attention that a decision was made to refuse qualified local physicians the right to provide obstetric services to their patients within the Perth or Smiths Falls campus of the hospital. This decision was made even though these family practitioners are fully qualified and experienced in managing their patients through labour and delivery. This restriction has resulted in the loss of a highly qualified physician from our community.

It is incomprehensible, that our local hospital would set such restrictions. It is disgraceful that management and governance of the P&SFDH would drive a highly skilled and motivated doctor from our town. With a physician shortage for “rural and small town” Canada, we should be extending opportunities for those who have proven their dedication to our community. 

Ontario physicians have a right to practice medicine to the extent of their qualification and licensing. The women of this community have the right to choose the medical professional they wish to provide their obstetrical care. This decision is discriminatory to a significant segment of the population you are charged with providing medical care for. Women finally won the right of ownership over their own bodies and you have effectively restricted them from deciding who should be allowed to provide their obstetric care.

While we agree it is wonderful that we have specialists available for those who want or need this service, we believe our family doctors are also entitled to provide our care if we choose. We request immediate reinstatement of obstetric privileges for those physicians qualified and inclined to deliver babies in our local hospital.