December 7, 2005

Heather McDonald
Corporate Communications & Public Relations, LHSC
519-685-8500, ext. 77642

LHSC Emergency Physicians working at University Hospital and Victoria Hospital Emergency Departments

(LONDON, Ontario) - Emergency physicians at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) will receive welcome relief Thursday when emergency physicians from Med-Emerg International (MEI) join the hospital Emergency Services staff. LHSC emergency physicians will continue to work at both University Hospital and Victoria Hospital Emergency Departments, but will have much better working schedules with the addition of more physicians.

LHSC is actively recruiting emergency physicians to come to London. MEI will continue to supplement LHSC emergency physician staffing during the recruitment process.

"We are pleased that the LHSC emergency physicians were able to work with us to develop a staffing solution that builds on our existing staffing and allows LHSC to continue to provide the very best in emergency care services at University Hospital and Victoria Hospital," said Neil Johnson, Vice-President of the LHSC Medicine Clinical Business Unit.

In September, LHSC emergency physicians indicated that they did not feel they would have enough physicians to adequately staff the Emergency Departments at both University Hospital and Victoria Hospital from December onward. They also expressed concerns about the stress of their workload as LHSC emergency physicians are currently working a higher number of shifts than the national average for teaching hospitals.

Med-Emerg International has been providing contract medical staffing solutions and healthcare consulting services since 1983. Dr. Ramesh Zacharias, CEO and Executive Medical Director of Med-Emerg is a former LHSC surgical resident. Med-Emerg retains fully qualified and credentialed emergency physicians.

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is one of Canada's largest acute-care teaching hospitals and is dedicated to excellence in patient care, teaching and research. LHSC has pioneered many national and international medical breakthroughs. Located in London, Ontario, LHSC encompasses three sites, South Street Hospital, University Hospital and Victoria Hospital; two family medical centres; and the London Regional Cancer Program. LHSC is the home of the Children's Hospital of Western Ontario and CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics). The research arm of LHSC is Lawson Health Research Institute, which is partnered with London's other teaching hospital, St. Joseph's Health Care, London. LHSC is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. Physicians and staff at LHSC number close to 8,000 and together they provide care for more than 600,000 patients each year.