Canada briefs – November 9

Members of at least four hospital boards in Toronto have been offered the swine flu vaccine that’s intended for priority groups only, and while one doctor said Friday he now regrets that decision another said it’s the right thing to do.

Hospitals offered H1N1 vaccine to board members

TORONTO — Members of at least four hospital boards in Toronto have been offered the swine flu vaccine that’s intended for priority groups only, and while one doctor said Friday he now regrets that decision another said it’s the right thing to do.

Board members at Toronto’s Mount Sinai hospital were offered the H1N1 shot last week, when health officials were urging that higher-risk groups go to the front of the line.

Toronto’s University Health Network is also offering the shot to board members and executives, along with nurses, doctors, volunteers and other hospitals workers.

Health-care workers are among the six groups that are considered to be a higher priority for getting the pandemic shot in Ontario.

From the start, health officials have urged people to let the priority groups go first, but said no one would be turned away. As demand surged and Ontario’s supplies dwindled, the government decided late last week to restrict the shot to priority groups only.

Both Premier Dalton McGuinty and Health Minister Deb Matthews have held off on getting the vaccine, saying they’ll wait their turn.

Everyone who works at the Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret hospitals is being offered the H1N1 shot because they’re all needed at a time of crisis, said Dr. Bob Bell, president of the University Health Network.

“Our analysis of the situation at University Health Network is that every individual who works in the hospital is essential to the hospital’s functioning,” Bell said. “And that includes our managers, our directors, our executives. Let’s face it, we’re making day-to-day decisions on how this hospital responds to this epidemic. Of all times, this is the time that hospital leadership is most necessary.”

Man charged with killing corrections officer

MONTREAL — A carpenter has been charged in the slaying of Natasha Cournoyer.

Claude Larouche is facing a charge of first-degree murder in the killing of the Correctional Service of Canada employee.

The 48-year-old man appeared before a judge in Montreal.

Cournoyer disappeared last month from outside her workplace, and her body was found five days later by the shores of the St. Lawrence River.

Larouche pleaded not guilty through his lawyer.

Prosecutors say a DNA match led investigators to Larouche, and he was arrested Thursday.

Cournoyer, 37, did communications work for the correctional service.

Doctor lacks skill: medical review

SASKATOON — The group that oversees doctors in Saskatchewan says the radiologist whose work sparked a review of 70,000 exams lacks skill and knowledge.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan made the finding into the competency of Dr. Darius Tsatsi.

The report raised concerns about Tsatsi’s interpretation of X-rays, CT scans, mammography or ultrasound tests.

Tsatsi, who’s been a doctor for more than 26 years, had disagreed with a report that questioned his abilities.

He did not appear at the hearing and college spokesman Bryan Salte says Tsatsi’s lawyer didn’t present any evidence to contradict the findings.

Salte says the future of Tsatsi’s ability to practise will be determined on Nov. 20, although the report recommends a year of retraining.

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