Swift Current has been blessed in the last few years with an extraordinary doctor - Dr. Senyo Tagboto. Unfortunately the system seems to be doing its utmost to drive him away.
One of the reasons is the on-call system. For approximately the last year, he has been on-call one in two, sharing the on-call hours with Dr. Serwadda. This means that he can be on call for 24 hours for many days in a row. Anyone can see that is unreasonable and it is amazing he has been able to maintain that hectic schedule for all of this time. If it can be arranged that he is on call one in four, then this would greatly reduce the hours that he is on call. Right now he barely ever gets to see his family.
Another reason is his frustration with a system that won't allow him to use his many gifts and talents to help the patients in Swift Current and surrounding area. He is a nephrologist who can't practice here because the nephrologists in Regina want the patients referred to them. Anyone who has to travel to Regina or Saskatoon on a regular basis for their health care, such as dialysis, cannot believe we have this talented doctor in our midst but he is unable to treat them in their own health district. The patients who have to travel to Regina or Saskatoon for dialysis do not have to, because we have six dialysis machines right here in Swift Current that Dr. Tagboto is not allowed to use.
Does the health care system not realize how emotionally stressful (especially in our climate) it is to have to travel on a very frequent basis. And of course there is the expense to which patients and their families are put to make these frequent trips. The patient cannot drive themselves to these out of town appointments which in turn necessitates another family member taking time off work to drive them. And the spin off from that is that it leaves other family members without a vehicle for the day(s) of the appointment. Any reasonable administration would see that it is beneficial for patients to be able to see their specialist in their own region. It is no secret that stress plays a huge part in the overall health of someone who is fighting for their life.
My son has been ill for 10 years and we were doing a lot of travelling to Saskatoon to see his specialist there. Nothing new was ever tried there. Since Dr. Tagboto came to Swift Current, those trips have been eliminated. Not only that, my son developed a rare lung infection in addition to his Wegner's and had to be placed on a very intrusive drug called amikacin administered by IV for one year. (Luckily with the help of Home Care, he was able to have this done at home). I called Dr. Tagboto's office and left a message for him to call me back because I was concerned what would be the result if this drug was not effective. The next thing I knew, the receptionist at my office called me and said "Dr. Tagboto is here to see you." He realized the seriousness of the side-affects of this drug. He wanted to see me in person to explain this to me, because if the drug wasn't successful, there wouldn't be much hope for my son as it could be administered for this one year period only. Well the drug did what it was supposed to do and our son is still with us, although still very ill with his original Wegner's. One of the side-affects of the drug was to destroy what hearing he had left. That has since been rectified by cochlear implants.
My son's case is so rare that Dr. Tagboto and Dr. Venkatesh did a research paper on him.
Dr. Tagboto also completed extra studies in prescription drugs, their side-affects, how they interact with each other. He is so careful and thorough when he prescribes medication for his patients.
I cannot emphasize enough - why would Swift Current be willing to let this extraordinary doctor and caregiver leave our midst. To me it is a miracle that he chose Swift Current in the first place. He and his family love Swift Current. Now that we have him, please do not let him go!
To comment on this situation, see Facebook page Keep Dr. Tagboto in Swift Current.
Donna Berggren - Swift Current