Funding to Attract More Psychiatrists Recommended by Windsor Committee

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The city's Community Services and Parks Standing Committee is recommending a boost in funding to attract more psychiatrists to the region.

The committee voted to add $9000 to the annual physician recruitment funding specifically for psychiatrists.

A delegation from the physician recruitment group spoke to the committee Wednesday morning. 

Dr. Pat Monteleone addressed the psychiatric need explaining Windsor only has 10 per cent the ratio of the Greater Toronto area.

He says the need is significant for psychiatrists in this area.

"The mental health needs in the community are immense, and so the importance of being able to home grow residents and keep them here for the duration of their career is of utmost importance at this time so we're very excited that they're in support of these dollars."

Dr. Monteleone says the Schulich School at the University of Windsor has a psychiatric program, but graduates are still a way off.

"We currently have four years of residents, so it's eight residents in total and next year there'll be a full complement of ten," says Dr. Monteleone. "So in about two years from now we'll finally get our first graduates out of that program and I believe we'll start to see an increase in our recruited psychiatrists in that way."

Dr. Dale Ziter is also part of the group and says the psychiatric need is real but not the only are where we're underserviced.

"For sure psychiatry.  And likely when you look at the whole of Essex County we need family medicine as well given the age of the current practicing family docs, the retirement," adds Dr. Ziter.  "I can't speak to other specialties, but definitely psychiatry we're woefully underserviced."

In addition to the bump up in annual funding, the committee recommended nearly $50,000 in a reserve account be given to the group to use.

City council will still have to approve the funding change formally.