While the number isn’t yet written in stone, by the end of this month, Fort St. John could again have 19 general practitioners by the end of this month — seven more than at the low point, during the recent doctor shortage.
The key is believed to be a new funding model for physicians. There are unconfirmed reports it has been well enough received by the local medical community, and that some of the doctors who earlier left family practices may be seriously considering a return to them.
“It’s going to try to address a way to bring new doctors into the game in a way that works for them,” said Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm. “It’s also going to be a way to allow older doctors that are thinking about retiring and reducing the workload to do so in such a way that actually works for them as well.”
For those with budget concerns, he says, the new funding model improvement does not involve a lot of new money in the system, but rather the redistribution of the money already there, to better address the doctor’s needs and concerns.