On January 24, 2022, the South Dundas and South Stormont Join Doctor Recruitment Committee held a meeting with the Ministry of Health, during the annual Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference.
Since 2020, South Dundas and South Stormont have been working to bring more physicians to their communities.
“We need the medical community to understand what we have known for some time in SDG: that we have a need for physicians to serve our communities,” said Mayor Bryan McGillis of South Stormont. “The data collected in this survey will be used to present a viable business case to physicians and medical practitioners looking to establish, expand or relocate their medical practice to a great community with a demonstrated need.”
The Committee’s efforts have gained two new physicians to help support the community. However, with the retirement of long-time doctors and ever-growing need, the Committee needs support from higher levels of government.
During the meeting, spokesperson for the Committee South Dundas Deputy Mayor Kristen Gardner highlighted key issues the two communities are facing. The Committee called upon the Ministry for more support for doctor recruitment efforts, equal opportunity healthcare in rural areas, and a more inclusive healthcare system that provides specialty services closer to home.
“But we also need to be heard and supported by our provincial partners and that’s what we aimed to achieve today. Rural community residents deserve equal opportunity to the healthcare spectrum,” said Gardner.
“Access to healthcare has long been an issue in our region, and as our communities continue to grow, we must make strides toward improving the healthcare services our residents receive,” added South Stormont Mayor Bryan McGillis. “In order to effectively do that, we need further support from all levels of government.”
It’s the Committee’s goal that the province will show their support and commit to become a stakeholder in rural physician recruitment and the advancement of rural healthcare.