County Council asks for report on how to address health care needs in the region


County Council has asked for a report on how to address health care needs in the region. 

During Wednesday's meeting, County Council was presented with a notice of motion that was brought forward by Amherstburg's mayor and deputy mayor to look for a report from administration to reintroduce the Physician Recruitment position in the county.

While many of the mayor's and deputy mayor's understood the need for physician recruitment, many of them were more in favour of creating a 'task force' to look into health care positions as a whole. 

An amendment was made during the meeting, asking that county administration bring back a report on how to address health care needs of the region. 

Michael Prue, mayor of Amherstburg, says when Amherstburg council requested this be brought forward to the county, they were asking for more health care help. 

"The council was hoping through this motion to engage the county in finding out some way that we can find additional medical staff in southwestern Ontario, that's really what it's all about."

Crystal Meloche, mayor of LaSalle, says it shouldn't just be a position for physician recruitment.

"I'd like to look at creating a task force with key stakeholders in the region. So it would be County of Essex, City of Windsor, Health Unit, hospitals, you name it, creating a task force that looks at what our needs really are, because I think that we need this position, but I don't think the position should be physician recruitment."

Sherry Bondy, mayor of Essex, says while health care options typically fall under provincial members, she will talk about health care any day. 

"I think it's still one of the most pressing issues in our region, even though it's not in our swim lane, I think we need to advocate on behalf of our residents any chance we get. I think one of the first things we should do is invite our MPP's here to share with us what they're doing, and see what their plans are."

The amended motion was passed unanimously, with administration expected to bring the report back at a later date. 

The Physician Recruitment program was originally launched in 2003 and was funded by the City of Windsor and the County of Essex.

Windsor pulled out of the program in 2011, while the county continued to fund it until 2022.