Monday, April 25, 2022
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Lethbridge City Council ready to assist with doctor recruitment efforts

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – About 22-percent of residents in Lethbridge and nearby communities will be without a family doctor by the end of this month, according to information gathered by six local healthcare representatives.

They made a presentation to City Council’s Cultural and Social Standing Policy Committee on Wednesday (Dec. 1), outlining why doctors are leaving this area at such a rapid pace and possible solutions to that problem.

The reps point out that the departures are multi-faceted, with everything from early retirements and other life transitions to recent billing changes to financially unstable clinics.

Dr. Thulani Mtshali says Council’s help will be crucial for recruitment efforts. “Because we don’t have any plans in place, what I think you can do at this time is to be a part of what we’re doing. As we brainstorm and put plans together, [council should] be a part of the planning process early on.”

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Dr. Garland Jonker, who is the South Zone Clinical Department Family Medicine Section Chief, also notes that job advertisements have already been put together, and the City’s assistance could be useful to roll those out.

“I think the next step would be to target those materials to very specific programs, and then we would need some central location for any interested parties that are seeing those materials and wanting to follow-up on them. I feel like that’s very close, we just need that next step and some collaboration, potentially with somebody from the City on that.”

Council says it plans to do all it can and continue discussions. First and foremost, it has tasked the City Manager to bring an action plan to a future meeting.

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