New Sask. family struggles to find pediatrician

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Carly Tonken moved to Saskatoon to help with her family from Toronto, and something she has been struggling with is finding a pediatrician for her two kids.

“As someone who just moved her I’m unable to find any pediatricians to take him on and I have called and no one wants new clients because of COVID, and no one is accepting patients because of COVID honestly I’m kind of stumped.

“To have a relationship is so important with any kind of doctor and my son only being two I want him to know this doctor and grow up with this doctor and I can’t find anybody,” Tonken said.

Tonken's daughter Rayden is four months old and her son is two years old. Rayden requires special medical care and Tonken hopes she can find a pediatrician soon. She was able to get special referrals from Toronto in the meantime.

“I still need other referrals and those are taking a long time to be on a waitlist and no one has been calling me and that makes me worried," Tonken said.

"Quite frankly I need to make sure that my four month old is one the right path for her conditition."

Saskatoon pediatrician Dr. Mahli Brindamour said that in Saskatchewan, which is different than in Ontario where pediatricians do primary care, pediatric care is provided by referral only. Caregivers may ask their family doctor to refer to a pediatrician if they are worried.

“Call your family doctor, call your pediatrician if you’re concerned about your child’s health. We are here for you and will continue to care for your family despite the pandemic," Brindamour said.

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