Anita Cameron of the doctor recruitment committee for Kenora says they're making good progress.
"We don't have nearly the gaps in the system that we did at one time," she said, following a delegation to council.
While Cameron wasn't able to provide specific figures, she said six months ago a 'very significant' number of shifts for physicians in the emergency room at Kenora's hospital were being filled by visiting doctors. After last week's deputation, Cameron said the number had been cut in about half.
Cameron was at city hall last week, as she lobbied councillors for $25,000 over the next three years, so the All Nations Health Partners Recruitment Committee to continue with their work. At this point, Cameron said doctors were now interested in coming to Kenora, which is making the recruitment task easier.
In the spring, a representative for the Ontario Medical Association said at least another 10 doctors were needed in addition to the 35 in the community. If neighbouring First Nations were included, there could be enough work to keep about 60 doctors busy, especially since young graduates are less likely these days to take on the larger work loads of previous generations, who were willing to work 80 or 100 hours in a week.
Physicians gave notice of change to the community in November 2017, saying doctors would have trouble filling all their commitments in the community with the shortages they were facing. They then started to take the political route last January, when they met with Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath.
A report on the Lake of the Woods District Hospital in June described how relations between medical staff and management had deteriorated to the point where patient care was being impacted. A new CEO for the hospital was announced in July.
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