Victoria County hopes to lure doctors with new space in Baddeck hospital
Tender for renovations at Victoria County Memorial Hospital could be called within weeks
The Municipality of Victoria County in Cape Breton wants to make itself competitive with new office space as it tries to recruit at least two new doctors to the Baddeck area.
Bruce Morrison, the warden of the municipality, said two of the area's doctors have served close to 40 years each and if they retire from practice without being replaced, Victoria County will have a medical crisis on its hands.
"Previously, we were told that it wasn't necessarily a role for municipalities to recruit, but we looked at it differently," he said. "We said, 'Look, the former district was active but not successful.'"
The municipality formed recruitment committees for north and south Victoria County and managed to recruit two doctors to Neils Harbour, north of Smokey.
That came as a surprise because the location is relatively remote.
Morrison said one of the deciding factors for the physicians was that their offices are in the Buchanan Memorial Hospital Community Health Centre, the local hospital. All the medical services they need are immediately at hand.
He said Victoria County council has determined the same thing has to be true in Baddeck.
"We've had a number of potential physicians come in and have a look around what we have here in the community," he said.
"I think the newer physicians are looking for a different practice model and again, that practice model would perhaps be more favourable to entice them if those offices are located right within the hospital itself."
Morrison said a tender could be called within weeks to begin renovations at the Victoria County Memorial Hospital and are expecting to spend about $200,000 on the work.
"Some services will be moved out of the hospital to a place nearby, to make room for the new doctors' facilities," he said.