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New co-ordinated physician recruitment approach announced

FREDERICTON (GNB) – A new co-ordinated physician recruitment approach is being established in New Brunswick.

“Our government is committed to job growth and this new initiative will help create growth through the addition of new doctors to New Brunswick,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau. “Implementing this approach furthers the work toward completing our government’s commitment to improve access to family doctors.”

Boudreau joined health system leaders and doctors at a family practice clinic today to make the announcement.

In April 2015, a working committee was created including the New Brunswick Medical Society, Horizon Health Network, Vitalité Health Network, and the Department of Health to review the current physician recruitment process and recommend options to improve it.

The Department of Health will follow-up on the recommendations from the committee, including one to develop a co-ordinated recruitment approach, and will immediately hire a provincial physician recruitment co-ordinator. The department will work closely with the New Brunswick Medical Society over the coming months to develop detailed plans, budgets and timelines leading to the implementation of the other recommendations.

“The province is losing a number of physicians due to retirements,” said Boudreau. “That’s why it is crucial for us to improve our physician recruitment strategies in order to meet our current and future health-care needs.”

“With thousands of people without family doctors, we all know that recruitment in the province must be improved,” said Dr. Camille Haddad, president of the New Brunswick Medical Society. “We must do a better job of keeping New Brunswick-trained doctors in the province, and the partnership to create the specific, detailed road-map to achieve that goal has been a success.”

“Physician recruitment has always been a priority for Horizon Health Network,” said Dr. Édouard Hendriks, vice-president of medical, academic and research affairs at Horizon Health Network. “We are proud of the success we have had, but competition between provinces is fierce and the implementation of a more co-ordinated approach will help ensure New Brunswick has an adequate number of physicians to meet the growing needs of our patients.”

“Medical human resource planning is a challenge because of the highly-specialized nature of the profession,” said Gilles Lanteigne, CEO of Vitalité Health Network. “The consolidation of a provincial vision will strengthen the links among the partners of the health system and will achieve better results in recruiting and retaining doctors.”

The committee’s list of recommendations includes:

  • establish a co-ordinated recruitment approach;
  • reorganize the existing physician recruitment process;
  • involve physicians and communities in recruitment and site visits;
  • use information about locums and retirements to help plan for future needs, to change the culture from recruiting for specific opportunities to one that plans for the future;
  • create better policies and incentives; and
  • better orient physicians to their practices and communities.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Bruce Macfarlane, communications, Department of Health, 506-444-4583.

Aleisha Bosch, New Brunswick Medical Society, (506) 458-8860 Ext. 633