By Chad Ingram
The Haliburton Highlands Family Health Team will likely need to replace five doctors during the next two or so years.
Algonquin Highlands Deputy-reeve Liz Danielsen who sits on Haliburton County medical professionals recruitment and retention committee delivered that news to councillors on the county’s finance and correspondence committee during a Nov. 11 meeting.
Moving forward the committee may try some different tactics than it has in the past.
“Going to a lot of the conferences we did . . . didn’t appear to be as successful as we’d hoped” she said.
In the past it has offered financial incentives for doctors to come to the community to the tune of $150000 for a commitment of six years.
Danielsen said the committee may consider these types of incentives again and may explore smaller amounts for smaller periods of time for example $100000 for a commitment of four years.
Some doctors now prefer to practise part-time something Danielsen said the community may also need to consider.
“Doctors are now looking at having a bit better quality of life” she told her colleagues.
Danielsen also said she thinks there need to be more physicians located in Minden.
“I think we need to bring Minden into the picture” she said.
Dr. Nell Thomas continues to be the sole physician working out of the Minden clinic while a dozen doctors work out of the clinic in Haliburton.
Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin said the lack of family physicians in Minden puts added strain on the hospital.
“For most of us emerg is our GP and that can’t continue” Devolin said. “Emerg in Minden is not just emerg. It functions as GP for the majority of us.”
Devolin said he’s supportive of financial incentives for physicians.