/ County folds physician recruitment committee

 County folds physician recruitment committee

By Chad Ingram

Published Jan. 25 2017

Haliburton County is folding the HaliburtonHighlands Health Professionals Recruitment and Retention Committee replacingit with a committee with a new function.

County councillors made that decisionduring a Jan. 25 meeting.

Members of council met with doctors fromthe Haliburton Highlands Family Health Team in October to discuss the role ofthe committee which has existed for several years.

“It really became clear in thoseconversations that the doctors felt the success they've had has come from theresident and locum programs” county chief administrative officer Mike Ruttersaid during Wednesday's meeting adding the doctors felt the committee shouldserve more of a support role helping to introduce visiting medical studentsand doctors to the community in hopes of them staying permanently.

“It's such a dramatically different rolethat had been envisioned in the past” Rutter said.

It was his recommendation that since therole of the county committee would no longer be directly in recruitment thatthe committee fold and terms of reference be drawn up for a new committee.

“I had used the term 'party planners'which is a very loose term” said Algonquin Highlands Reeve Carol Moffatt. “That'swhat this group is meant to be.”

The family health team will continue withdoctor recruitment. With some retirements on the horizon it's expected thatfour to five new physicians will be required in the community in the next fewyears.

Haliburton Highlands Health Services whichoperates the hospitals in Minden and Haliburton is now also involved directlyin doctor recruitment seeking physicians for its emergency rooms.

The county will continue to provide fundingfor financial incentives for physicians who agree to practise in the area for aterm of four years.

Rutter is recommending $100000 be budgetedfor that purpose in 2017 that amount increasing to $125000 for 2018 andsucceeding years.