Interested doctors visiting Manitoulin

MANITOULIN—Since the launch of the new physician recruitment partnership earlier this year, several Island municipalities have joined the steering committee, contributing a representative and funding to support the initiative.

“We approached several Island municipalities looking for support and so far Assiginack, the Northeast Town, Central Manitoulin and Gore Bay named a representative for the committee and will be flowing funding towards physician recruitment,” Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) CEO Derek Graham told The Expositor last week. “Tehkummah has also offered funding (but will not have a representative on the committee).”

MHC has partnered with physician clinics in Mindemoya, Little Current, Gore Bay and Manitowaning, as well as the Island’s three Family Health Teams (FHT) (the Northeastern FHT, Manitoulin Central FHT and Assiginack FHT) and Noojmowin Teg Health Centre to create a physician recruitment committee for Manitoulin.

The committee was formed to address the several outstanding physician full-time vacancies and future pressures of potential physician retirement.

“We have been working with our partners on the North Shore and Blind River who already had a recruitment officer in place, Sally Hagman,” explained Mr. Graham. “Unfortunately she will be retiring, so through our partnership we have hired a new recruitment officer, Maiya Geoffroy, who will be training with Ms. Hagman. We have also been successful in feed money for training the new recruiter through the Trillium Foundation, which will flow through Blind River.”

“The recruitment efforts have been going very well,” continued Mr. Graham. “Ms. Hagman has been attending many events throughout Ontario and through her efforts we have a large pool of locums (doctors) who have come to various Island practices. These efforts are helping Little Current, Mindemoya, Manitowaning, Gore Bay and Noojmowin Teg.”

“From a permanent (physician) perspective, we have already had a community visit in Mindemoya with a physician and her family,” Mr. Graham told The Expositor. “Sally (Ms. Hagman) helped tour the family and facilitate the visit. We are now just waiting to see if it turns out, but it is looking very positive.”

Mr. Graham said that things are looking up for Little Current as well.

“We also have a (physician) candidate exploring the full-time vacancy in Little Current,” he added. “Ms. Hagman is looking at setting up a community visit for this individual. She has really been searching out and building relationships.”

“It has been a good investment and physician recruitment in general is looking very positive for Manitoulin,” concluded Mr. Graham. “Ms. Hagman, along with Ms. Geoffroy, will be attending lots of future events later this spring and throughout this summer as we continue to move forward in this cooperative effort.”