The East Kootenay Division of Family Practice set out a plan to recruit six to eight physicians to Cranbrook to address the shortage in the community.
In a presentation to the Cranbrook Rotary Club, Dr. Ross Dawson said one issue is the need to appeal to a potential recruit’s family as well.
“When we’re recruiting, physicians have an almost unlimited choice of where to go, so the match between family and spouse employment really comes into the equation,” said Dawson.
An estimated 6,000 people in the community do not have a family doctor, meaning Cranbrook is about six to eight doctors short.
Dawson emphasized the importance of having a family doctor residents can turn to.
“Without a family physician, you really don’t have the proper access to the health care amenities a community has. Preventative care, that one-to-one relationship to someone you’re comfortable with, follow-up for all kinds of medical issues, those become very important in the long-term,” said Dawson.
Kootenay East MLA Tom Sypitka suggested showing off what Cranbrook has to offer and attempt to draw in potential recruits.
“We have to show the province and the country that Cranbrook is a good place to come and practice their art,” said Shypitka. “We’re poised well to do that, we just have to get the message out there and bring everybody to the table.”
A Red Carpet Committee has been re-established, with the goal of bringing in more physicians to meet demand in Cranbrook.