MONTREAL – In Granby, Que. the death of a doctor by suicide shocked the Quebec medical community. Now Karine Dion’s family is speaking out, saying the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic led to her death.
Dion was 35 at the time of his death and had been practicing medicine for a decade.
“I lost my wife, my life,” said her husband, David Daigle. “The mother of my children. I just want to send her a message because she was such an amazing woman.
This message: Quebec health care workers are not getting the support they need.
According to the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, one in six physicians contemplates suicide. Between five and eight percent said they were thinking about it this year alone.
Rod Lim, doctor and spokesperson for the association, said the hardest part is yet to come.
“It’s a scary time. Emergency physicians, we care a lot about the people we serve. It’s hard to know that while the going has been tough, darker days are ahead.
With the healthcare system being pushed to its limits, many doctors report a feeling of guilt if they take time off work. Diane Francoeur of the Federation of Specialist Physicians of Quebec said their physician assistance program is busier than ever.
“We saw a 22% increase in calls between June and December, which says it all,” she said. “We have to do something about it.”