What is being done to address the doctor shortage in Esquimalt?

Esquimalt council is trying to identify what it needs to do to attract much-needed physicians to the community.

Mayor Barb Desjardins says since one of two medical clinics closed in December, and a family doctor relocated, there are just 1.5 doctors serving a population of 18,000. 

Dejardins says staff have been working with the Ministry of Health, and the South Island Division of Family Practice, to study the issue -- and have already identified a key deficiency.

Much of their commercial space isn't suitable for new clinics -- upwards of 3-thousand to 6-thousand square feet are needed to establish the kind of clinics where doctors are interested in setting up their practice.

"We know that in the long term we need to make sure there is space.  We also need to know we have some solutions in the near future.  So, we know that recruutiment of primary care providers has been started, and we as a community have to start identifying what we can do in the short term, and that's within the next six months and also identifying a longer term solution."

The study will be in front of Esquimalt council on April 15th.

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