Lethbridge City Council approves measures to recruit doctors

The city will write to Health Minister Jason Copping asking for support and funding for the establishment of a university teaching clinic in Lethbridge.

Hyggen hopes this will be a long-term solution that will ensure a more steady stream of doctors not only get trained here, but settle here.

Another approved action will see the municipality allocate $15,000 from the council’s contingency funds towards a marketing and recruitment campaign in partnership with the Chinook Primary Care Network (CPCN), Alberta Health Services (AHS), Economic Development Lethbridge and other interested groups.

At a recent town committee meeting, Dr. Michael Auld, medical director for the Southern Alberta Zone, said marketing efforts would be used to highlight the lifestyle in Lethbridge.

Dr Auld adds that these funds would be used to get more money from other parties.

The final part of the city’s approved action plan is to explore opportunities for collaboration and partnership with groups such as AHS and CPCN.

It has already been suggested that the City of Lethbridge pursue partnerships in a number of ways, including leasing city-owned facilities for the purpose of establishing family medicine practices, exploring space requirements for future clinics, and offering financial incentives in the form of tax cancellation. or grants.

Hyggen is optimistic that the city’s doctor recruitment efforts will be successful.

“City Council continues to show its commitment to the residents of Lethbridge with a common goal of recruiting and retaining family physicians for our community,” said Hyggen. “Having strong primary health care is essential to the growth and well-being of our entire community.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) has released its latest Quarterly Physician Workforce Report in Alberta from January 1, 2022 to March 31, 2022.

In the first quarter of this year, there were 276 fully registered physicians practicing in Lethbridge. This represents a decrease of 13 physicians from the previous quarter or a reduction of 4.5%.

The city also saw a 5.8% reduction in the number of doctors, or 17 fewer, compared to the same period last year.

The Southern Zone as a whole saw similar declines. Across the region, 31 physicians have left over the past year, leaving 568 physicians remaining.

READ MORE: City committee recommends creating marketing and advocacy plan for doctors

READ MORE: Eleven international doctors could move to Lethbridge this year

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