I was a member of the audience at the public meeting on the doctor shortage last Wednesday night and was both very pleased and optimistic about the presentation, but very dismayed by the lack of positive or open-mindedness of the press and some questioners.
It is very apparent to me, as a health-care provider and a health-care consumer, that we need to make changes in the way we deliver health care and how we recruit and retain professionals to our community.
It is no longer just a health provider issue—it is a community issue and I am glad to see we have recognized that for the most part.
In speaking with a number of people who attended the meeting, it was unanimous that we appreciated the work of our doctors, our clinic, and the town council thus far, and that there are many people in support of their efforts.
It also was very clear to me that many people felt the family health team concept was a very viable solution to our doctor shortage, and that an organization (Group Health Association) with 43 years’ experience certainly could manage the task of helping us implement it.
Group Health Association comes with an exemplary reputation that maybe only people involved in the health-care sector are aware of. Here’s what I know for sure . . .
Group Health Association has become nationally (and maybe even world) renowned in the delivery of health care. They have been written up in journals, have presented at a number of provincial and national health conferences, and are looked upon very favourably by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
I have been involved in recruitment and retention of health-care providers in the past, both as a member of one of the first recruitment and retention committees struck by the Ministry of Health (Dr. Moulton and I represented our region) and as a manager of Rehabilitation Services (Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Language Pathology) in our local hospitals.
So it is not a new issue, but it is fast approaching a crisis in Northwestern Ontario.
That said, what can I do to help in this process—and I am sure many others in our community are feeling the same way.
(Import, also from Schreiber, Ont.)