The Listowel Wingham Hospital Alliance (LWHA) will need at least 14 new doctors to cover anticipated retirements over the next five years.
President and CEO Karl Ellis released a summary of the May Board of Directors meeting.
The summary reported Physician Recruitment Officer Jan McKague Weishar provided an update to the board. She said that temporary doctors (locums) are already being used to staff Emergency room shifts. 25% of Wingham ER shifts are covered by locum and 33% of ER shifts are staffed by locums in Listowel.
She reported that Wingham has the potential for 4 retirements in the next 5 years impacting 3,600 patients and the need to recruit at least 4 new physicians. Listowel anticipates 6 retirements impacting 9,210 patients resulting in the need to recruit 10 new physicians.
In the last 6 years, LWHA had 7 physician retirements plus one departure, while they recruited 11 new physicians to our area.
Currently Wingham has nine family medicine physicians in three clinics and Listowel has 14 physicians in one clinic.
Wingham Hospital supports 12,591 patients of local doctors, while Listowel has 18,320 local patients.
The report explained research and experience have shown:
o New graduates prefer rosters between 500-1000 patients. o Work/Life balance is very important o Early exposure to rural medicine is key to influencing future practice plans o Physicians often return to communities in which they have trained o New grads choose a community based on family or partner relationships o Investment in training medical learners may take many years before resulting in permanent practice