The Regional District of East Kootenay will support the search for family doctors in the region.
The RDEK Board approved two grants of 20 thousand dollars for the East Kootenay Division of Family Practices to help with bringing new physicians to the region this year and next.
Board Chair Rob Gay says supporting recruitment efforts will help avoid another shortage in family care like what happened in Cranbrook a few years ago.
“There just doesn’t seem to be enough new physicians coming to our town to replace current physicians,” Gay says. “The other thing that we learned is that the physicians who have been in practice for a long time have a huge client list, maybe more than a thousand, whereas the new doctors don’t want that. So we’re maybe looking at replacing one doctor with maybe 1.5 doctors.”
Gay says Cranbrook’s red carpet program for doctors and their families has seen some success, adding another incentive for residents to settle in the East Kootenay.
Seven RDEK directors were opposed to the funding, feeling this is a cost Interior Health should cover, not local municipalities.
– Regional District of East Kootenay Board Chair, Rob Gay
– Jeff Johnson