Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Family Doctors Come to Vancouver Island


Over the last seven months, 59 physicians and two midwives have been recruited by the Vancouver Island Health Authority to fill vacancies from Port Hardy to Victoria, announced Health Services Minister George Abbott.

“I am delighted that the authority has had such success in recruiting new family doctors and specialists to the region,” said Abbott. “This government, in partnership with the BC Medical Association, is continuing to provide British Columbians with better primary health care through programs aimed at recruiting and retaining physicians in areas where they are needed most.”

VIHA has been proactive in its pursuit of physicians, and has created a team dedicated to overseeing recruitment. In particular, VIHA’s partnership with the University of British Columbia in establishing training opportunities for medical students at the Island Medical Program, and the increase of postgraduate postings outside large urban centres, have resulted in medical students and residents gaining experience in a variety of Vancouver Island communities.

The combination of these efforts, along with the power of support from local communities, has resulted in increased recruitment of physicians in rural areas. Thirty per cent of physicians in VIHA are over the age of 55, making recruitment vital to ensuring care for patients can be maintained and improved.

“While we are appreciative of the hard work VIHA staff and local communities do to attract new physicians, there is much more to be done,” said VIHA chair Jac Kreut. “We are acutely aware of the challenge we face. Our People Plan identifies improved recruitment and retention as a top priority, and we will continue to actively recruit physicians where they are needed throughout Vancouver Island.”

Find out more about working at VIHA by visiting this Nanaimo Info LINK.


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