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Mothers concerned about child care gap after pediatrician announces he’s leaving

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Mothers concerned about child care gap after pediatrician announces he's leaving

With one of Fort McMurray’s pediatricians leaving in February, parents are concerned about a gap in child care.

Last week, Dr. Ghassan Al’Naami, who specializes in Cardiology, announced last week he’s moving to Edmonton in February.

“I actually have some concerns in the hospital and I expressed this to Alberta Health Services,” Al-Naami said last week, expressing his reason for leaving.

Al’Naami has close to 5000 patients in the city and two of them are the children of Tonia Rowe.

For Rowe, Al-Naami won’t just be leaving Fort McMurray, but she feels he’ll also be leaving a huge gap in child care.

“You have a lot of children who have very special cases that need extra attention, and they’re not going to get it now and that’s scary”

Rowe says that his office acted like an emergency room for children in some cases.

“Anytime I thought I had an emergency I could contact him and go straight to him. He was seeing double the amount of patients that he would normally see because he was doing this. That level of service is not going to be replaced.”

When AHS released their statement about Al-Naami’s concerns, Rowe took to facebook, feeling like they were sweeping everything under the rug.

Rowe compiled stories from other moms throughout the region who share her concerns about the rift a pediatrician like Al-Naami will leave when he’s gone.

In her post, Rowe says “I do not intend for this to be a personal attack towards any of the amazing employees at our hospital.”

“I strongly believe that this is a direct result of employees being stretched too thin, overworked and not being provided the support they deserve.”

Rowe’s full post and the stories can be read here.


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