Physician recruitment top priorty for Perth & Smiths Falls district hospital

Perth Mayor John Fenik
Perth Mayor John Fenik sees the value of physician recruitment during a presentation by CEO of the Perth & Smiths Falls District Hospital Dr. Guppy on Tuesday, Aug. 13 the hospital’s strategic plan update. Photo credit: Emilie Must.
Posted on: August 15, 2019

President/CEO of the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital Dr. Guppy presented a delegation to Perth council on Tuesday, Aug. 13 outlining the hospital’s plans to recruitment much needed physicians to town. 

The hospital is on year two of its 2018-2021 strategic plan and its focus is their unique philosophy about patient centred care. An additional 13 goals were added to improve services and patient care. 

“The hospital is an amazing place,” Dr. Guppy said. “The has continued to have balanced budget 5 years in a row.”

The significant health transformation initiative is “an amazing opportunity to bring us to a higher level of integrated care between the hospital and the public,” Dr. Guppy said. 

Physician recruitment is the hospital’s main focus as thousands of Perth residents are without a family doctor or have one outside of town. The hospital is looking to recruit seven or eight more physicians and so far have been in contact with 29 different ones. 

“The recruitment of physicians never ends. There are always people retiring,” Dr. Guppy said. “It needs to be a pan-community initiative.” 

Dr. Guppy also stated that it takes on average between 12-18 months to recruit doctors to a rural setting.

“We already have a strong relationship with the universities,” Dr. Guppy said. 

When council asked about the value of having a walk-in clinic in Perth, Dr. Guppy stated the downsides of having one.

“The issue with walk in clinics is that they are more episodic care. I recognize that some folks with minor issues see the advantages of that,” Dr. Guppy said. “Our goal is to plug people to all over care for a lifetime.”

Walk-in clinics are not funded by the province, instead they are funded privately.

“Our goal is to make sure every citizen have a robust primary care provider, the need for a walk-in clinic greatly diminishes. We want to get to the point where we don’t need them,” Mayor John Fenik said.

Article by Emilie Must.