Enderby makes a pitch for doctors

Coun. Brian Schreiner will represent the city during the Interior Health Authority’s interview of prospective physicians.

Enderby officials hope to create a relationship with a doctor looking for a place to call home.

Coun. Brian Schreiner will represent the city during the Interior Health Authority’s interview of prospective physicians.

“Our goal is to hopefully get someone to commit to the community,” said Schreiner.

“The IHA (recruitment) program is for three years but we would like to see someone stay longer.”

There are two interviews with doctors Tuesday while there is one Wednesday and one next week.

“We want a say in the process instead of them just sending us someone,” said Schreiner.

Also participating in the interviews is the Splatsin First Nation.

In September, a physician under contract with IHA for two years indicated she would end her practice at the end of November.

There is currently one other physician in Enderby under contract with IHA as well as a private practice and a First Nations doctor.

Schreiner will let the doctors being interviewed know about Enderby’s recreational and cultural lifestyle, as well as its proximity to Vernon, Salmon Arm and Kelowna.

“There’s lots to offer here. We want to match someone to the community,” he said.

Council met with IHA representatives Monday to discuss physician recruitment and retention.

“They explained that all over the country and the globe it’s difficult,” said Mayor Greg McCune of attracting doctors.

“They said there’s always a challenge getting rural doctors. They encouraged us to sell our community.”

The four doctors being interviewed for possible  practice in Enderby are from outside of Canada.

“They wouldn’t be available to start to work until next September. There’s immigration, a three-month assessment and they have to pick up and move here,” said Dr. Curtis Bell, IHA’s executive medical director of community affairs.

Bell is hopeful a new physician will move to Enderby.

“This is one of the few opportunities to get their foot in the door and practice in Canada,” he said.