A passionate plea to the Town of Hanover to continue to fund the Rural Residency Program at $85,000 a year.
Hanover had temporarily increased funding to the program for a five year period from $70,000 to $85,000.
This temporary increase of $15,000 a year is due to end soon.
Physician Retention and Recruitment Chair Mark Rogan says a long term commitment by Hanover to keep the funding at 85 thousand dollars a year will provide more stability to the physician recruitment program.
He calls the $15,000 increase in grant dollars a small investment for a very big return.
He says Hanover’s $85,000 grant helps offset the cost of physician recruitment efforts as well as the expenses associated with the Hanover Physician House.
The Hanover Physician House is owned by the Hospital Foundation which provides housing to up to 3 residents at a time in at a very affordable price.
Rogan credit’s the program for attracting five permanent doctors to the area, four to the Hanover Hospital and one to the Walkerton Hospital.
He says the Physician Home allowed these residents to develop roots in the community making the Hanover area a more attractive long term option.
Dr. Tim Heereema agrees saying this “Boots on the Ground“ approach provides Hanover a competitive edge in attracting permanent doctors.
He notes in five years time Ontario will be facing a crisis as a large number of doctors retire, he says local Rural Residency program can go a long way in helping to cushion Hanover from the impact.
Hanover Mayor Sue Patterson says the $85,000 request is a budget matter that will be discussed during the next round of budget deliberations.
Meanwhile Hanover has cut another cheque for $85,000 towards the program for this year.