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Western P.E.I. doctor wants restrictions on her practice lifted, court hears

Dr. Eunice Hove in a meeting room at the Supreme Court of P.E.I. this week.  (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)
Dr. Eunice Hove in a meeting room at the Supreme Court of P.E.I. this week. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)

A doctor from Alberton, P.E.I., was in court Wednesday, trying to have restrictions that the College of Physicians and Surgeons had placed on her practice lifted.

In October 2023, the college ordered Dr. Eunice Hove to see patients in person only, and to see no more than 40 patients per day.

During Wednesday's proceedings in front of Supreme Court of P.E.I. Justice Tracey L. Clements, Hove's lawyer said those restrictions are hurting Hove's professional reputation and her finances.

If the college's restrictions aren't lifted, Scott Barry told the court, the doctor "will continue to suffer irreparable harm."

The 40-patient cap per day is unsustainable, said Barry, and the restrictions make it impossible for Hove to meet her professional obligations.

Doug Drysdale, the lawyer for the College of Physicians and Surgeons, told the court the college continues to conduct an investigation into Hove's competency to practise medicine. (CBC)

Hove was in court for the proceedings but did not want to do an interview with CBC News.

The lawyer for the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Doug Drysdale, said the college had received three complaints about Hove before imposing the restrictions.

He told the court a review had found that between March 2020 and January 2023, the doctor had conducted 90 per cent of her appointments by phone, and patient charts were missing information.

When asked to treat more complex patients, Drysdale said, Hove told them to go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

The college did an audit of Hove's practice, and is currently doing an investigation into her competency that could take six months, Drysdale said.

"It's also important to recognize that the investigation is not through ... It's quite unusual to come to court when an investigation is ongoing," he told the judge.

Clements was told that the recommendation from the college's initial investigation was to suspend Hove entirely, but the college council decided to go with restrictions instead.

The judge is expected to make a decision on the request by sometime in March.