Let­ter to the Ed­i­tor

The Victoria Standard - - Commentary -

Un­der­stand­ing our re­cruit­ment ef­forts

To the Ed­i­tor:

In re­cent months, physi­cian re­cruit­ment for Nova Sco­tia, in­clud­ing for Vic­to­ria County, has been a topic of much in­ter­est. I would like to share with your read­ers in Vic­to­ria County and be­yond some in­for­ma­tion they may find help­ful in un­der­stand­ing our re­cruit­ment ef­forts.

Re­cruit­ment takes time and in­volves the ef­forts of many peo­ple. Even though we are al­ways re­cruit­ing, physi­cian re­cruit­ment is not with­out its chal­lenges. We ap­pre­ci­ate that physi­cians will al­ways come and go, that’s the na­ture of health care and other pro­fes­sions. Be­cause it can some­times take up to a year or more to re­cruit a new physi­cian to an area, we need as much ad­vance no­tice as pos­si­ble when a physi­cian de­cides to re­tire or leave. For­tu­nately, we do not re­cruit alone.

We have a ded­i­cated physi­cian re­cruit­ment con­sul­tant who re­cruits for the en­tire Eastern Zone of Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity. The Eastern Zone in­cludes all of Cape Bre­ton Is­land as well as Antigo­nish, Guys­bor­ough and their sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties. Re­cently, a re­cruit­ment team vis­ited the United King­dom and met with nu­mer­ous physi­cians, with many show­ing an in­ter­est in Cape Bre­ton. We are hope­ful that this will re­sult in physi­cians fol­low­ing-up on op­por­tu­ni­ties in our com­mu­ni­ties.

We are for­tu­nate as well to have lo­cal physi­cians who are pas­sion­ate about their work and their com­mu­ni­ties. Be­cause they live in our com­mu­ni­ties, they are able to share their first­hand knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ences with po­ten­tial re­cruits. They can tell other physi­cians why they chose to come here and why they stay. This is valu­able as it gives physi­cians in­ter­ested in re­lo­cat­ing a per­spec­tive on work­ing and liv­ing in Cape Bre­ton com­mu­ni­ties.

At the com­mu­nity level, we have both in­di­vid­u­als and groups in­ter­ested and will­ing to help sup­port re­cruit­ment ef­forts. A lo­cal com­mu­nity group, Friends of Buchanan Me­mo­rial Com­mu­nity Health Cen­tre, re­cently cre­ated a web­site and video. It show­cases the benefits of liv­ing and work­ing North of Smokey. We use links to the web­site/video on our re­cruit­ment post­ings for Neil’s Harbour and all can­di­dates are di­rected to view the site to learn more about liv­ing and work­ing in Neil’s Harbour.

We are also for­tu­nate to have the gen­er­ous sup­port of the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of the County of Vic­to­ria and its coun­cil to sup­port some of the work we do around re­cruit­ment. We see this strong re­la­tion­ship as an im­por­tant com­mu­nity link and coun­cil’s con­tri­bu­tions as a ma­jor sup­port to­wards re­cruit­ment in Vic­to­ria County. Coun­cil has made a ma­jor fi­nan­cial com­mit­ment to sup­port ren­o­va­tions at Vic­to­ria County Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal in Bad­deck. The ren­o­va­tions helped en­hance the workspace for de­liv­ery of pri­mary health care ser­vices and make the com­mu­nity and hos­pi­tal more at­trac­tive to new physi­cians serv­ing Bad­deck and be­yond.

The busi­ness com­mu­nity also rec­og­nizes the im­por­tance of the re­sults of physi­cian re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion. A group of Cape Bre­ton busi­nesses has also de­vel­oped a web­site and video to help sup­port physi­cian re­cruit­ment ef­forts. We use that link to the web­site/video on our re­cruit­ment post­ings as well. Cape Bre­ton busi­ness peo­ple un­der­stand the im­pact for their em­ploy­ees, their fam­i­lies and our com­mu­ni­ties when our re­cruit­ment ef­forts are suc­cess­ful. These are all ex­am­ples of how sup­port­ive and in­ter­ested the com­mu­nity is in what we are do­ing and how part­ner­ships and links with groups and in­di­vid­u­als across com­mu­ni­ties can help us re­cruit physi­cians. We are en­cour­aged by and ap­pre­ci­ate the in­ter­est at the com­mu­nity level. The peo­ple in our com­mu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing North of Smokey, al­ready know that Cape Bre­ton is a great place to live, work and play. Shar­ing that with peo­ple like health pro­fes­sion­als in­ter­ested in Cape Bre­ton is very help­ful.

We are also com­mit­ted to in­form­ing and work­ing with the Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil and mem­bers of the com­mu­nity on long term strate­gies.

We’d also like to thank the peo­ple, groups and physi­cians who con­trib­ute to and sup­port our on­go­ing re­cruit­ment ef­forts. We en­cour­age peo­ple to visit the fol­low­ing web­sites http://md­ca­reerin­north­ern­cape­bre­ton.com/ and https:// doc­torscape­bre­ton.com/ and share them with oth­ers.

Thank you.

Dr. War­ren Wilkes Eastern Zone Med­i­cal Di­rec­tor, Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity Chair, Eastern Zone Physi­cian

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