Cape Breton mother questions why referrals continued after complaints made about Bedford-based dentist | Provincial | News


A Reserve Mines mother is wondering why her complaints about Dr. Errol Gaum to a Sydney dental clinic didn’t stop them from referring patients to the Bedford-based dentist.

Wendy McNeil said she was “sick” when she read Ryan Binder’s post about the appointment his six-year-old daughter had with Gaum on Nov. 10, which lead to him filing a complaint with the Nova Scotia dental board.

“I could have written that, it was so much like what my daughter when through (six-years ago),” said McNeil.

The McNeils’ daughter was also six at the time of the visit and McNeil said her husband wanted to hire a lawyer when they returned to Cape Breton. McNeil convinced him not to and called Mayflower Dental, who made the referral to Gaum, to file a complaint. 

It wasn’t until she read Binder’s post and saw his daughter was also referred by Mayflower Dental she realized Gaum was still treating children.

On Thursday, the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia suspended Gaum’s licence indefinitely after an emergency meeting the night before. Halifax Regional Police have also confirmed they are investigating multiple complaints filed against a dentist at the address where Gaum’s office is. 


McNeil was shocked when she realized her complaint to Mayflower Dental in 2014 didn’t result in changes.

“I figured (by calling and reporting it) the referrals would stop at least,” she said. “Stupid me, on my behalf.”

Mayflower Dental regional director Rob Redshaw said the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia deals with complaints and is the organization they should be submitted to. 

Citing privacy, Redshaw said he couldn’t speak more about complaints or referrals.

“With respect to client privilege and patient privilege, as well as with our dentists and the dentists we refer to, we can’t discuss in any way, shape or form … any of the processes when it comes to referrals (or receiving complaints about referred dentists),” Redshaw said. 

“The dentist does not get involved with (the complaint) process at all. Getting the information from anyone but the source (when the complaint is filed) isn’t correct.” 

“I could have written that, it was so much like what my daughter when through (six-years ago),” — Wendy McNeil

Redshaw was able to say when they get a complaint they advise clients to call the dental board.

McNeil said when she filed hers with Mayflower Dental she “definitely” wasn’t told this and would have if she’d been advised to. 

“I persuaded (my husband) not to (hire a lawyer). I thought by calling Mayflower Dental something would be done,” she said. 

“But now it seems nothing was done to stop this from happening to other children. It really was just an apology … My daughter heard us talking about this the other day and she said, ‘This kind of thing could give a person PTSD.'”


Both the Nova Scotia Dentists Association and Nova Scotia Dental Assistants Association confirmed they don’t have guidelines for members

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Cape Cod Hospital Cutting Midwife Services

HYANNIS, MA — Cape Cod Healthcare is cutting hours at its midwifery program in half.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association has decried the decision and said its coming at a time when the hospital is seeing an increase in the number of babies it’s delivering. Starting on Nov. 16, midwives will only be available at the hospital 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., Monday through Friday, cutting their in-hospital weekday availability in half, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Nurses Association said. With the cuts, midwives, will only be available 24 hours a day on weekends.

Patch has reached out to Cape Cod Healthcare officials and will update this story when we hear back.

From April to September, the hospital has seen a 38.32 percent increase in baby deliveries compared to the same months in 2019.

“The absence of midwives during weekday shifts means that expectant mothers who have chosen to be under the care of a midwife will no longer have access to those same care providers during their labor and delivery — unless a soon-to-be mother is lucky enough to go into labor either at night or on a weekend,” a Massachusetts Nurses Association spokesperson said in a statement. “Otherwise, new babies will be delivered by obstetricians.”

The nurse’s association credits the influx of pregnant woman at Cape Cod Hospital to the closure of Falmouth Hospital’s maternity ward in April. The closure forced expectant mothers in the upper Cape to travel to Hyannis for maternity services.

courtesy of the Massachusetts Nurses Association
courtesy of the Massachusetts Nurses Association

Nurses and residents argued closing the facility reduces access for expectant mothers, putting them and their children in danger. But the Falmouth Hospital Association, a part of the Cape Cod Healthcare network, argued there will be no negative impact from closing the wards in a plan submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

“Services at Cape Cod Hospital meet or exceed those which are available at the (Falmouth) Hospital, both before the proposed closure and otherwise,” the plan read.

Nurses argued the new cuts at Cape Cod Hospital raise questions on if pregnant women on the Cape will get the appropriate level of care they need, especially since the region has seen its population increase during the coronavirus pandemic as people look to relocate from more densely populated cities and towns.

“When CCHC closed the maternity unit at Falmouth, we knew we would see a significant increase in deliveries in Hyannis,” nurse Michelle Walsh said “At the very least we have been expecting to deliver 300 more babies this year. Little did we know that CCHC would make things worse by cutting patients’ access to midwives at a time when the Cape’s lone maternity unit is already understaffed and overwhelmed.”

This article originally appeared on the Barnstable-Hyannis Patch

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