Health minister sets up centralized doctor recruitment plan

Health minister Victor Boudreau says his government is hoping a more co-ordinated approach is the answer to the province's chronic shortage of GPs and specialists.

Victor Boudreau plans to hire a provincial recruiter to co-ordinate efforts to hire new doctors

The New Brunswick government is hiring a physician recruitment officer to work on attracting new doctors to the province. " 
Health Minister Victor Boudreau said his government is hoping a more co-ordinated approach is the answer to the province's chronic shortage of general practitioners and specialists. (CBC)

Health minister Victor Boudreau said his government is hoping a more co-ordinated approach is the answer to the province's chronic shortage of general practitioners and specialists. The province is looking for 70 doctors.

Boudreau said right now everyone handles their own recruiting, from the Department of Health to the regional health authorities to the New Brunswick Medical Society.

"It's the idea of having a one-stop shop. Having one phone number, one email, one website, where doctors can turn to find out what opportunities exist in the province of New Brunswick."

It's the idea of having a one-stop shop.- Victor Boudreau

The idea for a single provincial co-ordinator came out of a working group put together after the last budget.

The province has had a dedicated recruitment co-ordinator in the past. The Lord government hired a physician recruitment and retention officer in 1999.

The group came up with a series of recommendations which included hiring a provincial recruiter to better co-ordinate the efforts of the entire province.

New Brunswick was one of the highest tax rates in the country, which some see as a barrier for those looking to to relocate.

Boudreau said doctor's also consider quality of life and the ability to set up a collaborative practice or work in community health centres as incentives to come here. 

"We are a small but nimble province . . . We've always considered ourselves a microcosm of Canada. We're bilingual. We've got an urban-rural mix. It's not always about the dollar figure."

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