Newfoundland Doctor New President-Elect of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

    WINNIPEG, Sept. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Royal College of Physicians and
Surgeons of Canada has announced Dr. William Fitzgerald, C.M., FRCSC, a
general surgeon from St. Anthony, Newfoundland, will become the College's 40th
President. Dr. Fitzgerald will assume his role as President Elect during the
College's annual business meeting today. His two-year term as President begins
in September 2008.
    Dr. Fitzgerald, who works at Labrador Grenfell Regional Health Authority,
said "I'm greatly honoured to be elected President of the College. This is a
crucial time in our evolving health system and an ideal time for the Royal
College, working in collaboration with other partners, to ensure Canadians
have an appropriate supply of physician specialists when and where they need
    As with the broader population, the physician population is aging and the
pending retirement of doctors from the baby-boomer generation will impact the
supply of physicians. For example, the 2004 National Physician Survey results
suggested that double the number of physicians intended to retire in 2005 and
2006, as compared to 2004. The 2004 data also revealed that close to 40% of
specialists are over the age of 55.
    "Currently, planning for our health human resources (HHR) is taking place
in silos," explained Dr. Fitzgerald. "Provinces, territories, health
professionals and the federal government each have their own models. The Royal
College and other stakeholders have identified this as a major gap in planning
and are calling for the creation of a pan-Canadian mechanism for HHR planning.
A more coordinated planning effort is needed so that patients have timely
access to health care services."

    The RCPSC plays a leadership role in ensuring quality postgraduate
medical education so that future medical specialists are competent and
equipped to meet societal health needs. As the voice of over 40,000 medical
specialists and residents, the Royal College contributes to shaping key issues
in specialty medicine and health care by engaging governments, partners and
stakeholders in dialogues on patient safety, timely access to care, physician
health and well-being, and health human resources.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Karen McCarthy, cell (613) 668-6465,; Kathryn Hendrick, (416) 233-3023; cell (416) 277-6281,; Barbara Czech, (204) 832-3578,; On site Media Room: (204) 957-4364, (204) 957-4388

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