In January 2017 Houston Today reported about the new doctor coming in March to practice at the Houston Health Centre. At the Mar. 7 Houston council meeting, it was reported that the new physician will not be coming. The doctor recruitment committee in Houston will be continuing with its efforts to hire another physician for Houston.
“Unfortunately the doctor who was selected to come [to Houston] has faced some difficulty with his practicum, so we will be recruiting again for the second physician and relooking into our materials,” said councillor Jonathan Van Barneveld.
Councillor Van Barneveld said that there will be a point somewhere for the committee to decide whether to extend into the international recruitment program or something else. Every position is required to be posted in at least three locations nationwide, as per the Northern Health physician recruitment standards.
“We will be soon attending one of our best conferences for sourcing general practitioners where we will be promoting theHouston opportunity at the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada annual conference. And we will be promoting the practice opportunity in Houston at all of our events and in our marketing plans until we find the right candidate for the community,”commented Andrea Palmer, regional manager and public affairs and media relations for Northern Health.
“Is this doctor off the table then?” asked councillor Tim Anderson.
“To my understanding the program is quite strict. It’s very comprehensive and wide ranged, but I guess once you are out, you are out. Maybe some recourse, but at this point it is not for us [to say],” replied councillor Van Barneveld.
“At this time, a physician that was expected to come to practice in Houston will not arrive. The placement was through thePractice Ready Assessment Program of B.C, and this governing body determined that the physician would not be moving ahead in the program,” said Palmer.
According to councillor Van Barneveld, the current doctor and nurse practitioner at the Houston Health Centre have been doing very well with their patient capacity. It has recently increased from 50 to 60 per cent.
“There’s still lots of from for client applications,” said councillor Van Barneveld.