A total of one in three people in Alberta do not have access to a family doctor. That’s according to Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips. Phillips was at the Galt Museum discussing the doctor shortage in Lethbridge. She outlined ways that we as a city can attract and retain family physicians.
“Ensuring that we have a competent government at the helm that respects public health care is, I think, the first step there. The second step is, of course, to ensure that we have the right compensation framework, not just for physicians, but for other primary health care providers. And third, we need to make sure that we have the physical infrastructure in place, whether that is new clinics, new primary health care clinics, where we have the right care team model in place as well. Because it’s not just about family physicians. It’s about that whole continuum of care for people.”
Earlier in January, the Alberta government announced they will be investing $1 million to explore ways that post-secondaries like the University of Lethbridge and Northwestern Polytechnic, can help with medical education outside of Edmonton and Calgary.
Staff from the province also said research shows that positive learning experiences in rural health-care settings lead to more physicians choosing to pursue careers in rural areas.
The province also made an announcement late last year that 17 new doctors have committed to Lethbridge this year with some already practicing medicine here in our city.