Pos­i­tive ef­forts to­wards at­tract­ing new doc­tors

The Queens County Advance - - COMMUNITY -

I sup­pose every­body knows that there is a short­age of doc­tors in Queens County. We also know that those that we have, are over­worked. As re­tire­ment ap­proaches for some of our well loved and ap­pre­ci­ated doc­tors, this sit­u­a­tion looks like it will get worse. There is hope, that with ac­tion we can turn things around.

Nova Sco­tia Health Author­ity has been mak­ing a fee­ble and un­suc­cess­ful at­tempt at re­cruit­ing doc­tors for many places in Nova Sco­tia. They have re­cently given per­mis­sion for Queens to do it›s own re­cruit­ing with the pro­viso that any­body we find be ap­proved by them. We now have a web­site called doc­tors-wanted.ca. It is a well crafted and user friendly site de­signed by Ryan Chan­dler for the Queens Gen­eral Hospi­tal Foun­da­tion. It can be used by ad­ver­tis­ing it in med­i­cal jour­nals where it can be found by doc­tors who might be con­sid­er­ing a change, and on bulletin boards of med­i­cal col­leges where stu­dents are con­sid­er­ing where they might go upon grad­u­a­tion. Like the Re­tire­to­liv­er­pool.com site, it ex­tols the virtues of this area but has in­for­ma­tion of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to doc­tors as well.

When the re­tire-to-liver­pool site was launched in 2016, it was put on Face­book and the site had nearly 3,000 vis­i­tors within the first two weeks. That got it no­ticed by the search en­gines which means that a few key words now gets the site near the top of the list of sug­ges­tions. Since then there have been over 9,000 vis­i­tors to the site. Most are from Canada, and many from the US and UK. I like to think that the site has some­thing to do with the lively real es­tate mar­ket in Liver­pool, and de­mand for new apart­ments.

I only men­tion the suc­cess of the re­tire site to plant the idea that sim­i­lar suc­cess might be had with se­cur­ing new doc­tors if there were a re­peat of the en­thu­si­asm with which the re­tire site was vis­ited and shared.

You know what to do.

Peter Rip­ple Liver­pool

Jamie Bail­lie took the job no one else wanted, but will leave it as pos­si­bly the big­gest prize in Nova Sco­tia pol­i­tics.

Bail­lie an­nounced his in­ten­tion to step down as Nova Sco­tia’s Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive leader just five months af­ter tak­ing the party to within a few thou­sand well-placed votes of gov­ern­ment. Nova Sco­tia’s Lib­er­als won a slim ma­jor­ity last May, but hung on to sev­eral seats by ra­zor thin mar­gins.

Bail­lie leaves with the Tories next in line for the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment. His suc­ces­sor will be within a Lib­eral folly and an elec­tion call of the premier’s of­fice.

The de­ci­sion could not have been easy for Bail­lie. The life­long Tory from Truro wanted to be Nova Sco­tia’s Premier af­ter watch­ing the job up close while serv­ing as John Hamm’s chief of staff in from 2002 to 2005.

Bail­lie won the lead­er­ship of the prov­ince’s PCS by ac­cla­ma­tion, the only de­clared can­di­date for the post, in 2010.

It ap­peared the party was at its low­est ebb. Af­ter 10 years in power, many of them as a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment, the Tories fin­ished third in the 2009 pro­vin­cial elec­tion, and seemed headed for an ex­tended stay in the po­lit­i­cal wilder­ness.

Things got worse when Karen Casey, who served as in­terim leader in 2009-10, left the Tories to join Stephen Mcneil’s op­po­si­tion Lib­er­als just three months af­ter Bail­lie’s lead­er­ship be­came of­fi­cial. Casey made no se­cret that she had lit­tle taste for Bail­lie, although she didn’t have much time to ac­quire one.

Bail­lie en­tered the leg­is­la­ture as leader of the third party af­ter win­ning a byelection in Cum­ber­land South, a seat va­cated for the new leader by MLA Mur­ray Scott.

As leader, Bail­lie has con­sis­tently out­per­formed ex­pec­ta­tions. When the Lib­er­als swept into of­fice in 2013, the elec­tion was seen by most ob­servers as a two way race with the in­cum­bent NDP.

The Tories baf­fled the ex­perts by plac­ing sec­ond, and Bail­lie be­came leader of the Of­fi­cial Op­po­si­tion, the job he con­tin­ues to hold.

Last spring the Lib­er­als were ex­pected to win re-elec­tion hand­ily, but again, the Tories emerged as the elec­tion-night sur­prise, gain­ing seven seats and trail­ing the Lib­er­als by just four per­cent­age points in the pop­u­lar vote.

Bail­lie’s term as leader has been plagued by polls show­ing low per­sonal pop­u­lar­ity. While he of­ten polled be­hind his party, his strong elec­tion show­ings kept the rankand-file firmly united be­hind his lead­er­ship. There were no Tory knives out for Bail­lie af­ter either elec­tion loss.

Un­til a new leader is cho­sen, Bail­lie will con­tinue to lead a strong 17-seat op­po­si­tion and a cau­cus rich in po­ten­tial suc­ces­sors, many of whom he re­cruited.

Rob Bather­son was among those can­di­dates Bail­lie re­cruited to run in 2017.

Bather­son, who also served in John Hamm’s of­fice, has been con­sid­ered lead­er­ship po­ten­tial for some time, although his loss to Lib­eral in­cum­bent Labi Kousoulis in Hal­i­fax Ci­tadel may hurt his chances.

Although he fin­ished third, he was less than 150 votes be­hind the NDP can­di­date in a rid­ing with strong NDP tra­di­tion, and he could make the case that the party’s re-birth in Hal­i­fax is es­sen­tial to re­gain power.

The Tory leg­isla­tive cau­cus has five women MLAS, any of whom could be con­sid­ered for the lead­er­ship.

Among the new­com­ers, Cum­ber­land North MLA El­iz­a­beth Smith-mc­crossin has gained ex­po­sure as health critic, and Bar­bara Adams from Cole Har­bour-east­ern Pas­sage, is a con­sis­tent and strong per­former in the House. Cape Bre­ton Rich­mond Tory Alana Paon is a gi­ant killer, hav­ing de­feated long-serv­ing Lib­eral Michel Sam­son.

Karla Macfar­lane from Pic­tou West is an­other pos­si­ble con­tender, although ge­og­ra­phy may be an is­sue, given Tim Hous­ton from Pic­tou East will al­most cer­tainly give the lead­er­ship se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion.

Cape Bre­ton will de­liver a can­di­date, likely in the per­son of Al­lan Mac­mas­ter from In­ver­ness, a for­mer party staffer who holds his own in the House. An­other party staffer turned MLA, Chris d’en­tremont, from Ar­gyle-bar­ring­ton is the party House Leader and would seem a nat­u­ral con­tender, but some in­sid­ers be­lieve he does not want the top spot.

Kings North MLA John Lohr’s name was men­tioned by some party faith­ful as a strong po­ten­tial con­tender.

Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Mayor Ce­cil Clarke is a for­mer PC MLA and cab­i­net min­is­ter who some see as lead­er­ship ma­te­rial. The tim­ing of the lead­er­ship race may de­ter­mine whether Clarke is in. He was re-elected mayor in 2016 and at the time in­di­cated he in­tended to serve a full four-year term.

With the premier’s of­fice in sight, there will be no short­age of pos­si­ble can­di­dates. The field will nar­row con­sid­er­ably once those with as­pi­ra­tions start test­ing the wa­ters. But given the stakes, this time the pro­vin­cial Tory lead­er­ship won’t be won by ac­cla­ma­tion.

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