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As Saugeen Shores continues to rise in population the need for doctors grows as well. During the April 9 Committee of Whole, Saugeen Shores Council was approved to extend communication to the Minister of Health for another physician. The new recruit would occupy space at the municipally owned Dr Earl Medical Clinic at 786 Goderich in Port Elgin, which underwent additional construction in 2016.

As of March 2018, there are approximately 500 Saugeen Shores residents without a family doctor, known as “orphaned” patients. With an estimated population growth to over 17,000 by 2020, Town staff and Council would like to expedite the recruitment process now to welcome a new doctor pending Minister approval.

The Managed Entry process currently in place for physicians applying to Family Health Organizations (FHO) limited the ability for the Town to attain more doctors per the current population. In a report presented to councillors, Town staff said that “due to the rapid growth numbers in our community we feel this is a reasonable ask.”

Councillor Mike Myatt, who is also on the Physician Recruitment Committee, thanked the efforts of Bruce Power and Physician Recruitment Specialist Peggy Zeppieri for their efforts in bringing a handful of doctors to the area, while stressing the importance for the 500 orphaned patients to contact Health Care Connect online at[] or by phone at 1-866-532-3161.