Here is what is going to happen at London hospitals when Saudi medical students leave – CBC.ca
London’s hospitals are expecting mounting pressure as 91 Saudi Arabian medical students are being forced to leave the country by the end of the month.
Officials with London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) say they are continuing to make plans on how to deal with the exodus of Saudi residents after their government gave them orders to pack up and leave.
Dr. Paul Woods, President and CEO of London Health Sciences Centre (London Health Sciences Centre)
“It was something that caught me by surprise, as I’m sure it caught many people by surprise,” LHSC president and CEO Dr. Paul Woods told CBC news.
“Health care is, by its very nature, one where sudden changes occur on a fairly regular basis.”
Woods said they have been compiling a task force approach to solve anticipated problems in the coming weeks, but there will be pressure to keep up with the current levels of care.
Saudi students working in London hospitals are providing direct patient care in all of the LHSC’s clinical programs. That includes departments such as neuroscience, orthopedics and cardiac surgery.
“These learners have been a valuable part of our community for a long time and continue to be,” said Woods.
Hospitals plan to maintain current levels of care
Woods said the pending work load will ultimately be passed on to the non-Saudi trainees and faculty.
“The impact will definitely be on the basis of manpower, that we are going to have to provide the same level of services with less people,” he said.
“In terms of quality and safety, I don’t anticipate any impact because we have contingency plans that are being developed right now.”
Ultimately, Woods said fewer people are going to have to provide the same level of service.
There is no indication that any research projects within the LHSC will be severely impacted by the loss of Saudi students.
“Those projects may slow down temporarily because of the loss of expertise and loss of students,” said Woods.
There is no word if any Saudi faculty are being asked to leave the country.
Support for Saudi students
The residents and fellows are among 152 students in London who are being forced to relocate by the end of the month after receiving an order from their country to leave Canada.
Among them are 131 Western University students and 21 Fanshawe College students.
Many of those students are being forced to sell their cars, pay off any outstanding debts, prematurely end their home leases and cancel all other commitments to relocate.
“I would hope that there would be some sort of diplomatic solution that would allow the trainees to remain,” said Woods.
“They’re an important part of our medical community and we’d like to not lose them.”
While the LHSC is not directly providing assistance to the Saudi students, Western University is working to provide academic support for their transitions.