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South shore group works to fill gap as doctor departs P.E.I. community

Dr. Joey Giordani says despite encountering a high level of unacceptable behaviour from some patients at his new family practice in Crapaud, he hopes to enjoy a sustainable office in the small community for years to come.
Dr. Joey Giordani -Guardian file photo

CRAPAUD, P.E.I. - As a doctor prepares to leave Crapaud after a short run in the community, a group is pushing to fill the gap.

Dr. Joey Giordani took over Dr. Hendrick Visser’s practice in early July.

In late August, the family physician said he reached the “difficult decision’’ to downsize his practice by between 250 and 500 people to be more in line with what he deems the national average.

Since then, he has advised Health P.E.I. that he plans to relocate the practice to Cornwall in the New Year. He has informed patients this is his final week in Crapaud.

Related: New P.E.I. doctor shocked by patients’ behaviour, says he'll cut patient roster

A committee was created in November that is looking to establish the South Shore Health and Wellness Inc. to advocate, promote and support health and wellness services within the South Shore area that are permanent, efficient and collaborative.

The group’s co-chairman, Ian Dennison, says all avenues will be pursued.

“This includes establishing a walk-in clinic in the community and approaching government with a proposal for a nurse practitioner. We have some doctors that are interested in working with us,’’ he says in a statement.

“As Islanders struggle to find primary care, wait times to see a physician grow longer, and as older and infirm patients become more limited in their means to travel to other communities, we feel a strong need to advocate for ourselves and our neighbours.’’

Related: P.E.I. doctor moving practice from Crapaud to Cornwall

Dennison notes that Crapaud has had a practicing physician since 1847 with Visser providing health and wellness services for 30 years before Giordani took over the practice earlier this year.

“With the transfer of Dr. Visser’s practice to a new physician, Dr. Giordani, concerns regarding Dr. Visser’s retirement appeared to have been alleviated,’’ says Dennison.

“However, with Dr. Giordani’s imminent departure from Crapaud, the South Shore community will soon find itself without local access to health care services.’’

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