Two new physicians are coming to the Gatineau Hills to help fix a doctor shortage. Both are currently completing their residencies and are due to start in the Centre de sante et de services sociaux (CSSS) des Collines area this summer.
They are part of a crop of 16 new doctors confirmed for the Outaouais region this year. Those two chose the CSSS des Collines region, said Johanne Charette, the advisor to institutions at the Agence de la sante et des services sociaux de l’Outaouais regional health board. The Agence will determine at a later date where the remaining doctors will be posted, she said.
Even though this comes as promising news for the area, Charette said there are still 14 posts left to be filled for the Outaouais. At press time, she said they were expecting three more doctors to confirm their intent to work in the region – leaving 11 spots open.
Quebec’s health ministry allocated 30 doctors postings in the Outaouais region for the 2013 year. According to Le Droit, the Ottawa-Gatineau French daily, more remote regions including Nunavik, Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean already have more candidates than available positions.
Charette said they are working to recruit more new doctors by encouraging more medical students to do summer stages in the Outaouais. It’s through these temporary work gigs, she said, that the Agence can promote the region’s tourist activities.
NURSE RECRUTING LAGS
There are fewer nurses, per capita, in the Outaouais region compared to the Quebec average, according to a report published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
In 2011, there were 670 regulated nurses (including registered and licensed practical nurses) per 100,000 people in the Outaouais, compared with 983 in Quebec and 921 in Canada.
According to Le Droit, there are recruitment and retention problems in the Outaouais region.