Northern Health recruits to Health Centre

Houston Health Review recommends the Health Centre move towards becoming a Primary Care Home for Houston.

Northern Health continues recruitment for a Houston doctor with no success.

Health Service Administrator Cormac Hikisch says they are changing their recruitment approach to reflect the idea of a Primary Care Home for Houston, where doctors will work within the health centre with other professionals.

“It’s a more attractive model for doctors,” he said.

The Primary Care Home idea is a recommendation from the Houston Health Service Review that Northern Health completed early-February.

Hikisch says they are also working to hire a Northwest recruiter to focus on getting doctors for communities in the northwest like Houston.

Finally, they are looking at options for recruiting international doctors, who would be tested to ensure their skills are suitable to meet the standards of the B.C. medical system.

More directly, Hikisch says Northern Health is meeting with Houston mayor and council on April 24 to discuss a partnership for recruitment.

The Houston Health Review says “Houston residents are the best ambassadors for their community.”

This partnership aims to harness that idea and get a group of locals to tour interested physicians around town and show them all that Houston has to offer.

Rob Newell, Director of Area G in the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, says the key is community vitality.

“If we want to recruit physicians, we have to look at what we need to do to make Houston more attractive,” Newell said.

With adapted ideas from other studies done in Australia and the world, Newell presented 12 pillars of a vibrant community.

Some of those pillars are health, communication, transportation, services, arts and culture, environment, and economic stability.

Newell wants to develop a group of volunteers with expertise in each sector to plan how to develop and strengthen each area.

The idea was discussed at the Health, Safety, Community Services and Education Committee meeting last Friday.

The committee is an amalgamation of the previous Health Committee and two pillar groups that met as part of the community transition after Houston Forest Products closed last year.

The committee meets every other month on a Friday 9:30 to 11 a.m.

The public is welcome to attend and can address the committee about issues around health, safety, community services or education. The next meeting is May 22.