Lake of the Woods District Hospital says the staff shortage will likely get worse before it gets better.
Medical chief of staff Dr. Sean Moore efforts are being made both provincially and federally to make more doctors available, but it could take some time before the doctor shortage can turn around.
"I'm not much of soothsayer now, but I think in probably two years from now, its going to be as bad as gets and then we're probably going to make some headway in this field, from the physician standpoint," Dr. Moore told the Lake of the Woods District Hospital Board last week.
Dr. Moore adds the short term solution they are using isn't a long term fix.
"Agency nurses are great for plugging the holes in the schedule, which are all over the place, but we really need to support and encourage people to settle down here, you know take a position, half of a fulltime position, or whatever that might be, and stick to that if we're going to see some progress in this area."
The hospital says it has seen a two percent improvement so far this year in the number of staff shortages, going from a vacancy rate of 21 percent to 19 percent.