Lockport pain center closes

Posted at 7:41 PM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 19:58:46-04

It was already a confusing situation for patients seeking pain treatment after the indictment of Dr. Eugene Gosy and the two-week closure of his office.  But that situation got even more confusing as a major pain center in Lockport also shut its doors on Friday April 29, 2016.

Just two days after Dr. Gosy was arraigned, the Lockport Rehabilitation and Pain Management Center closed.  Its hundreds of patients were first told about the plans to close in March, but they are now finding it difficult to find a doctor to take over pain management because of the Dr. Gosy prosecution.

"We are not drug addicts and what are we supposed to do with the pain," said one patient from Niagara Falls who was injured at work and went through multiple back surgeries.

"They keep telling you to go to your family doctor but I don't have a family doctor and no one is taking new patients," said the 60-year-old disabled woman.

The medical community is telling 7 Eyewitness News that primary care physicians are fearful of taking on pain management issues because of concerns they could face prosecution for prescribing opioid pain killers.

It is a issue that has Erie County Health officials calling on primary care doctors to be a "bridge" to those patients seeking pain management while the situation is worked out.

One person who is very upset about the current crisis in Avi Israel who leads a group called "Save the Michaels of the World."  Israel's son committed suicide after becoming addicted to opioids.  The community advocate feels Dr. Gosy purposely closed his office for two weeks as a way to further his own interests by showing how many patients would be left helpless without Gosy's intervention.

Federal officials said there was no requirement for Dr. Gosy to close his office and other practitioners in Dr. Gosy's office could still prescribe controlled medication.