Twenty-six new doctors could be on the payroll at Sudbury's hospital this year, according to chief of staff Dr.Chris Bourdon.

The new family physicians and specialists will help decrease wait times at Health Sciences North.

"We recruited a new neurologist last year and the wait list for neurologists has gone way down." said Dr. Bourdon. "In recruiting a third neurologist ... those wait lists will be non-existant."

The new recruits are in addition to the 27 new doctors hired last year. With the retirement of current doctors factored in, the net effect of new physicians and specialists added to the hospital's staff is about 20.

'Success of NOSM'

Bourdon said many of the new specialists come from Ontario medical schools, while the physicians are recent graduates of the Northern Ontario School of Medicne.

"A lot of them are coming from NOSM ... so that would account for the vast majority of the family physicians," Bourdon said.

"So it's another indication of the absolute success of NOSM in recruiting and retaining physicians in northern Ontario."

He said the number of specialists coming from NOSM is expected to increase, once the school starts graduating its first round of specialists.