A common theme at the doorsteps has been a concern about being able to find a family Doctor. The changes to these two walk-in clinics have added to the concern. While unconfirmed, I can share that I am also hearing that two existing doctors are closing their practices.
These are valid concerns that will only increase as our population grows.
I attempted to research Councils involvement in Physician Recruitment on the City’s website but other than budget notations for $60,000 in funding and assigning a councilor to the committee there was little else. I checked the assigned council members attendance at these meetings and noted that there were no records of a member of council having attended a meeting during this term of council.
My previous experience with Physician Recruitment saw four local mayors on the committee, local citizens, a family doctor, hospital doctor and of course the physician recruitment officer. The committee met on a regular basis reviewing items such as active recruitment efforts, where potential doctors were in their educational process and what year they may come on stream, pending retirements and how many residents need a family doctor. Each year the recruitment officer would make a presentation to council on the past years activities and highlight for council what to expect in the year ahead.
Part of planning our future must include an over all health care strategy. Recruiting an adequate number of Family Doctors and Hospital doctors need to part of the plan.
Having checked the Barrie Physician Recruitment website, I can see that they are aware and engaged.
I would however like to see our next council more involved in the effort.