A special committee has been struck to try to head off a looming doctor’s shortage in Nakusp.
Two doctors have already left Nakusp in the last year, and a third may be leaving soon, cutting the complement of doctors in the village from six to three.
“Right now we have four positions to run a busy clinic and keep the emergency department open 24 hours a day,” says Mayor Tom Zeleznik.
“We are facing a burn-out situation, and that could make recruitment potentially be more difficult.”
Three people — Zeleznik, a local doctor, and a private citizen — will sit on the newly-minted committee.
Zeleznik says the recruitment committee will borrow from the Village of New Denver’s playbook. That community recently went from facing hour reductions at its health centre to a full complement of doctors.
“We’re going to go to conferences, reach out through advertising, bring candidates here for a visit, produce a video, t-shirts, and bumper stickers,” amongst other strategies, Zeleznik says.
The committee will apply for grants to pay for the promotional and recruitment activities. Details are still being worked out, Zeleznik says, as the committee has only held its founding meeting.