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Doctor Recruitment Efforts Hampered By Housing Concerns
ARICHAT - Two representatives of a committee designed to attract new doctors and nurses to the Strait of Canso area warning that a lack of housing options may be hampering their efforts.
The issue came up during a presentation at Richmond Municipal Council's January 11 Committee of the Whole meeting by Cape Breton South: Recruiting For Health, a committee that has worked over the past year to bolster the numbers for those working in the health care sector serving Richmond and Inverness Counties and the Town of Port Hawkesbury.
At the request of Richmond Warden Amanda Mombourquette, committee members Maggie MacDonald and Trevor Boudreau explained how gaps in the local housing markets are impacting the committee's efforts to convince doctors, nurses and their families that the Strait Area is a viable option.
"Housing is my number-one challenge," said MacDonald, who was hired as the committee's Health Care Recruitment Navigator this past summer.
"What I'm finding with most health-care professionals, with whom I'm in contact daily, is that all of them want to be housed around the Town of Port Hawkesbury, or close to Evanston, where the Strait-Richmond Hospital is located. And housing is not easy for them to find."
She added that most of Port Hawkesbury's current housing options are "not up to par," while the few options available in Richmond County are "spread out" throughout the municipality and not necessarily conducive to the personal and professional needs of an incoming health-care professional.
Boudreau, a former Port Hawkesbury town councillor, noted that municipal officials in Yarmouth County have teamed up with the local Credit Union branch to provide apartments for new health-care professionals and medical students seeking to relocate to Nova Scotia's South Shore.
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