Health care is a significant issue for all of us and having access to health care professionals is critical to the well being of families in our region. However, many families, locally and across the province, do not have the benefit of being under the care of a family practitioner.
This is why the Chamber’s physician recruitment program is an important community health care initiative.
The Chamber Health Care Resources Council oversees a number of programs throughout the year to attract new family physicians to serve the health care needs of our residents. Since the program was launched in 1998, the Chamber, working with community interests, has successfully attracted over 200 family practitioners. The successes we have achieved would not be possible without the support and involvement of our community partners.
Funded through generous corporate, municipal and personal support, these partners are helping to better primary health care for all of us. It is important that they be recognized for their commitment. Their names and logos are listed here and we ask Chamber members to note who they are and to recognize them for their contributions.
The most critical program they support is the Annual Physician Recruitment Weekend, where we host first and second year family medicine residents and their partners interested in practice and employment opportunities in Kitchener-Waterloo-Woolwich. In November we will be celebrating our 19th year of showcasing the community to these young health care professionals.
The Family Medicine Resident Weekend has proven to be one of our most successful recruitment tools and has drawn many family physicians to local community practices over the past eighteen years. We have historically recruited three to four new family practitioners each year through this initiative alone. Given the success of this past year’s weekend and the interest expressed in local practice opportunities, from residents across the province and those training in the local family medicine program, we expect that number will be even greater.
Our physician recruitment sponsorship partners’ generous investment and support also helps the Chamber to recruit physicians throughout the year.
The Chamber Health Council has been working with a number of family medicine residents nearing graduation, some of whom are training in K-W, as well as established family practitioners from across Canada. Personal community visits have been arranged for these young practitioners who have met with local family physicians and toured a number of K-W practice opportunities. These doctors and their partners were very impressed with the area and a number of them will be making commitments to practice here in 2017-2018.
The Chamber’s recruitment efforts have been very successful. While the situation is dramatically better than it was when the Chamber first became involved in 1998, the family physician shortage is not yet solved. We continue to be challenged with rapid community growth and physicians reaching retirement. As well, today’s young practitioners look for life-balance which means that they have much smaller practices.
The progress we have realized to date is the direct result of ongoing financial support from the local business community and the municipalities, and that continued support is critical to the achievement of our goal.
The Chamber Health Care Resources Council sincerely thanks all of our partners for their generous investment in this important community health care initiative.