Hospital / Physicians
Of course, we all support the project to build our new hospital in Picton.
Back the Build has reached the 4th of 5 stages of development which means tenders are being sought. We can expect shovels in the ground by 2024 and occupancy of the new hospital in 2027.
More info at: https://backthebuild.ca/
I also support adaptive reuse of the existing hospital building rather than simply tearing it down. As South Marysburgh's representative, I will ensure this is properly studied by the next Council.
Most everyone is aware of the crisis we have in primary care physician numbers. The province determines how many primary care physicians and nurse practitioners we can have largely based on population.
Our current limit is 23 physicians and 4 nurse practitioners. This is not enough. We have many residents who are on waiting lists. To make matters worse, 5 doctors will retire in 2022 and 5 more will retire within the next few years.
Recruiting new doctors has become an unfortunate game of municipalities bidding against each other to entire recent graduates. Council agreed to fund a recruitment program with professional recruiters and significant signing bonuses for new doctors which will hopefully generate positive results.
Beyond this, however, Council needs to lobby the province for increased numbers of physicians and nurse practitioners as well as perhaps establish a walk-in clinic. As your councillor, I will actively support these initiatives.