Western Health is scrambling to fill a void in its delivery of health care after its only cardiologist recently tendered his resignation.

While on a six-week leave last month, Dr. Yahya Ishmail notified Western Health he would not be returning to his practice. Since then, the health authority has been formulating a plan to fill the void left in its cardiology department.

Western Health’s vice-president of medical services, Dr. Dennis Rashleigh anticipates most of the appointments already on the books through Dr. Ishmail will be maintained, with the vast majority facilitated at Western Memorial Hospital in Corner Brook.

The hospital has recruited an internal medicine physician who’ll be able to take on some of the cardiology patients, with assistance from two doctors already established in the community who have indicated they will be scaling back their own practices.

Locum coverage has also been established to assist in patient treatment through at least the summer.

Western Health anticipates follow-up treatment for some Dr.
Ishmail’s existing patients will be able to be handled by family physicians, while some individuals may have to travel to St.