Dufferin and Caledon addressing physician shortage

Local municipalities and Headwaters Health Care Centre have committed $150,000 to support local physician recruitment efforts.

Dufferin County, the Town of Caledon and Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC) have come together with the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health Team (HOHC OHT) to develop a recruitment strategy to address the physician shortage in the area.

In 2022, Dufferin County began revising its official plan, which stated the county expects to grow to 95,000 people by 2051. In order to accommodate this growth, there’s a need for more physicians in Dufferin and Caledon.

“Dufferin County’s vision under our 2023 to 2026 strategic plan is to be a community that grows together, with a key goal being to explore opportunities to improve access to health-care services,” Dufferin County Warden and Melancthon Mayor Darren White said in a press release. “Quality, local and accessible health care will allow us to create a community where everyone can thrive.”

White said in the press release that the county is proud to work with the HOHC OHT, HHCC and the Town of Caledon for the physician recruitment efforts.

According to Innovations Strengthening Primary Health Care Through Research, a network of primary care researchers, stakeholders and knowledge users in Ontario, more than 10,000 people in the Dufferin-Caledon area do not have a family doctor.

Tracy Coffin, the HOHC OHT executive director, said in a press release that Dufferin and Caledon are in a unique situation in regard to the projected population increase and the physician shortage.

“This collaboration between key community partners to address the physician shortage in our community is something we are very proud to be a part of,” Coffin said. “Through the Physician Recruitment and Retention Task Force, we know we will be able to make a real impact in Dufferin County and Caledon.”

Rebecca Weston, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner