N.B. health officials deny doctor shortage has caused a crisis

Health officials say the doctor shortage in southern New Brunswick isn't at crisis level.

The only thoracic surgeon in the Saint John area has been off work for two weeks, and it's unclear when he'll return.

Dr. Edouard Hendriks, vice-president at Horizon Health Network, said patients are being referred to other surgeons in the province, and outside the province if need be.

Cancer patient Eileen Shaw told CTV Atlantic Tuesday that she contacted multiple surgeons in New Brunswick, but they were not taking on additional cases.

Her daughter, Britney Shaw, said Friday that her mom has sinve been referred to a Moncton surgeon, who has ordered additional tests.

Hendriks said officials are trying to determine whether there's enough volume of work to justify having two full-time thoracic surgeons in Saint John.

With files from CTV Atlantic