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Niagara Short About 81 Doctors

Region has had success recruiting, but will keep focusing on vacancies, including going global, to lure Canadians back home

Despite success in recruiting doctors, the Niagara region is not letting up looking nationwide and globally.

The region's doctor recruitment specialist, Jill Croteau told the Public Health and Social Services committee they were in Ireland last October, to bring Canadian doctors back here to fill the void.

"The average practice size in Ontario is about 1,380 patients.  With Niagara's population of just over 477,000 people, we can gauge a recommended amount of doctors to be about 346.  We are still short about 81 physicians here in Niagara."

Medical officer of health Dr. Azim Kasmani added they need to keep promoting Niagara as a great place to live. 

Croteau also noted financial incentives offered in different parts of Niagara.  "St. Catharines is up to $5,000, in re-location and equipment, it's a grant.  Niagara Falls is $50,000, with a 5-year return service contract.  Welland is $100,000, with a 5-year return service contract... and Port Colborne and Fort Erie are at $75,000."

She adds competition is fierce, as other communities around the world are offering incentives too.

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