Ten new family practitioners are scheduled to open practices in Sudbury this year, but they aren’t flocking to the outlying areas where more people are left without a general physician.
The co-ordinator of the city's physician recruitment program noted the 10 new doctors opening practices this year are planning to do so in New Sudbury and the city's south end.
"We're hoping to provide a couple of outlying community incentives to several new physicians to encourage them [to move] into the outlying areas where they are needed the most," Ryan Humeniuk said.
"We use additional incentives to try and encourage them into our outlying communities but, at the end of the day, the physician decides where they set up their practice."
The recruitment program, which offers financial incentives to keep doctors in Sudbury, started 4 years ago. Since then, 19 new doctors have opened practices in the city. On average, the doctors will accept 1,000 new patients each, many from the Health Care Connect waiting list.
More doctors are on the way.
"In 2013 we have eight already confirmed to start," Humeniuk said. "In 2014 we already have four family physicians confirmed to start. And [in] 2015 we have five."
The city pays $40,000 to medical students and nurse practitioners who commit to practising family medicine in Sudbury.
They must stay in the city for four years after completing their training.
According to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, more than 3,500 people need doctors in the city — but that doesn't include those in Sudbury's outlying areas that need doctors.