Sault needs more resources to attract specialists: Krmpotich

Joe Krmpotich and Erno Gulyas speak in front of Sault Area Hospital on May 21

With another cardiologist leaving Sault Ste. Marie, NDP candidate Joe Krmpotich says the government has to stop underfunding and under-resourcing health and heart care in this community to help attract more specialists.

On May 12, local cardiologist Dr. Ismeil Amhalhal announced that he will be closing his East street office and relocating to another city. This is yet another blow to Sault Ste Marie’s health care system, which already sends many patients to other cities for heart treatment and cardiac care. That treatment includes patients that need the life-saving procedure percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Sault physicians have asked the government for resources and permission to be able to perform the life-saving procedure locally, but the Wynne Liberals have yet to act.

“Without access to the same resources as other hospitals, the Wynne government is forcing the Sault to fight an uphill battle to attract cardiologists,” said Krmpotich. “Sault patients are being put through a tougher experience right when they need care the most.”

Residents are forced to travel to Sudbury or Toronto for the PCI procedure.

“Flying south to be treated was one of the worst experiences of my life,” said Sault Ste. Marie resident Erno Gulyas. “I went into the operating room without seeing my wife and woke up without my family by my side. I was away from home and completely alone.”

“When someone has a heart attack they need a physician, not a plane ticket,” said Krmpotich. “Without better resources, and a plan to attract more specialists, some residents will continue to be forced to travel for the care they need. We can’t allow our community and our patients to continue to be ignored.”


  1. I don’t think people realize we are losing a doctor that can do the procedure rather than waiting for a flight to Sudbury or Toronto. It could mean your life. The costs to fly a person and the hospital time is over the top. You can be in and out in a day in our own hospital. No travelling expenses and no risk. Just makes no sense. Doctor Amahalhal has many patients left without a doctor when he leaves. No fault of his. Hope you never have to experience the procedure.

  2. This is very sad to hear. This is the only person that cared for my life after my pacemaker lead came out and I was told several times at the emergency room at sah that I’d “developed something like am eye twitch in (your) stomach muscle ” and that it occurred frequently after the type of surgery i had a few months prior but pacemaker leads don’tdon’t come out. At my 6 month check up, Dr Amhalhal walked into the office and shockingly said “that’s your pacemaker!” To which i replied “but that doesn’t happen! ” he then tapped his wrist watch and replied “ill book you this afternoon” he put it in himself after telling me i wad lucky to be alive.
    If i could beg him into staying i would. I do wish him and his family the best where he’s going.

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