The North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) is looking for innovative thinking when it comes to the recruitment and retention of family physicians — a clear theme of the Creative Problem Solving Session that took place Wednesday night at the health centre.
The Mayor of North Bay and CAO, NBRHC, community partners, active family doctors and home based residents and students have partnered together to look for new ways to attract family physicians to the community.
While the hospital successfully recruited 10 physicians in 2014, the focus is shifted to primary care in response to the rising number of physicians reaching age of retirement and practice closures.
“There is a shortage of family physicians in North Bay, and we need to understand why. We are here to recognize any obstacles, so we can strategically plan how to overcome them,” says Paul Heinrich, President & CEO of the North Bay Regional Health Centre. “This session provides a reservoir of great information; we must identify what of this information is most impactful and take action.”
Members came together to brainstorm ideas on how to attract more primary care physicians to the city, as well as what could be done as a community to make North Bay a top choice. “We have a great lifestyle, one of the safest cities in the province and a community that cares. We have so much to offer,” stated Mayor Al McDonald. “Through this team effort, we can tell our story about how great our community is to work, play and raise a family.”
The meeting established the beginning of an action plan, and focused on themes like how to support physicians in establishing practices in the city.
“By expanding this task force to include additional stakeholders, we can garner further support for these physicians” says Dr. Paul Preston, Medical Director & Chief of Primary Care, NBRHC. “Our city and hospital need to not only match the standard practices of southern and northern communities, but take recruitment to the next level.”
“With continued support from the municipalities and the members of this committee, we will continue to build on this plan and further our recruitment efforts to ensure primary health care needs for our community are met,” says Heinrich.
Communications Specialist, NBRHC