Lack of family physicians concerns business community

Chamber of commerce to host lunch and learn to connect health officials with community

TRURO – Challenges in obtaining family physicians in the Truro and Colchester area are having an impact on the business community.

The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce has heard from several of its members expressing concern about the lack of family physicians in the area.

“A number of businesses have cited concerns regarding staff relocating and commuting from areas where access to a family physician can be obtained,” said chamber president Andrew Lake. “This raises broad implications for the economy of our region.”

In December, Lake met with Janet Knox, CEO of the Nova Scotia Health Authority, as well as Dr. Nicole Boutilier, executive medical director, northern zone, to share the business community’s concerns.

“We’ve learned that the health authority is aware of the barrier in the community, with plans in place to navigate the issue,” said Lake. “Health care is undergoing a fundamental change in an effort to provide better access and sustainable delivery of services to citizens of Nova Scotia.”

Lake said significant investments have been made to attract people to the area such as the construction of state-of-the-art facilities like the Rath Eastlink Community Center and the Colchester East Hants Health Centre.

The president said these facilities, and other assets in the area, are showcased by employers to attract staff.

In an effort to address the community’s concerns and provide up-to-date information on the health authority’s efforts to recruit physicians to the area, the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce will host a lunch and learn event on Jan. 27, at 12 p.m. at the Best Western Glengarry featuring special guests Dr. Boutilier and Cheryl Northcott, executive director, operations, northern zone.

“Access to a family physician is a critical element to a sustainable and vibrant economy,” said Lake.

The event is being sponsored by Village Family PharmChoice, Bible Hill. Tickets cost $15 plus HST for members and $20 plus HST for non-members. For more information or to reserve a seat, call the chamber office at 902-895-6328 or email [email protected].