TYNE VALLEY– One of the Island’s most prominent physicians is taking indefinite medical leave, effective immediately.
Dr. Joyce Madigane told TC Media in a statement on Monday that she is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown to treat an unspecified form of cancer.
Madigane, who survived a previous bout with cancer, expressed her gratitude with the community for its understanding and well wishes.
“I would like to thank my patients, friends and neighbours and the public for their support on this journey,” she said.
Her son, Jongile Majola, is home on the Island helping his mother deal with her treatments.
He said she’s getting along well so far and added his thanks to Islanders for their understanding.
“She is holding up well, under the circumstances,” said Majola.
“We welcome the community's support and prayers.”
Madigane also urged her patients not to worry about themselves, as Health P.E.I. is searching for a temporary physician to fill in for her.
Marilyn Barrett, director of primary care and chronic disease, said the process of finding someone to fill in for Madigane started about a week ago.
“We do have some people that we’re talking with, and someone has expressed some interest but there’s a process we have to go through – a lot of paperwork,” said Barrett.
In the meantime, she said fellow Tyne Valley physician Dr. Ihab Abdelmalek will be reserving two appointments a day for any of her clients with urgent needs.
Anyone with a non-urgent medical need is to asked to use a walk-in clinic or call the provincial health line at 811.
She encouraged anyone with specific questions to contact Madigane’s office, which will remain open, at (902) 831-2659.
A native of Zimbabwe, Madigane received her medical training in the United Kingdom and has practiced medicine on P.E.I. for nearly 40 years.
She is a member of the Order of P.E.I. and in 2010 was named one of the top 25 immigrants in Canada.
She has been a staunch supporter of healthcare in West Prince and an advocate for the rights of First Nation Islanders.
Lennox Island Band Chief Matilda Ramjattan said Madigane has been the face of healthcare in her community for a whole generation of people.
“That woman put in a lot of hours, she worked herself to the bone,” said Ramjattan.
“To fill Dr. Madigane’s shoes here is going to be hard.
“We here on Lennox Island wish her all the best, we hope she overcomes this,” she said.