Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s public health chief, taking leave of absence for medical treatment, and Dr. Susan Oliver, the province’s representative on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, resigning due to concerns regarding sexual health.
Dr. de Villa told the Star that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and a large, cancerous mass in her breasts. She said the issue came to light when she began experiencing pain in her breast. She said she took a few days off work and checked into her doctor.
After some follow up, she was diagnosed with Stage 2, breast cancer.
“It is with deep regret I am forced to inform myself and all of my colleagues that this has been a difficult time for all of us,” said de Villa, who also served as a health minister in Ontario.
“During this challenging time, I will be taking leave of absence from my position as Ontario’s Chief Public Health Officer and accepting a leave of absence from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.”
She added that her husband, Dr. John, who is a general medical practitioner, and their children will carry on the family’s work.
Dr. Oliver said she is stepping down from her position as the province’s representative on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario after three years. She was appointed to that position in June, a month after her appointment to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
She told the Star that she had received an email from the college’s board of directors asking her to resign. The email stated that she had a conflict of interest in the position and that she would be leaving.
“I wanted to discuss the matter with my colleagues and to resign,” she said in an email. “Unfortunately, that’s not possible under the college’s bylaws. Instead, I have taken the time to make a thoughtful and rational decision that is in the best interests of physicians and patients alike. I will work with the college to ensure the college meets the needs of physicians and patients.”
Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s public health chief, takes leave of absence for medical reasons. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Canadian Press)
“I am truly sorry but I felt the opportunity