May 9, 2022
TRURO – Two business-led organizations have launched a pilot project that will provide temporary accommodations to support physician recruitment in the county.
The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce and the Truro Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity have partnered to lease a fully furnished, two-bedroom apartment located close to the Colchester East Hants Health Authority.
“This as a fantastic opportunity for two major business groups in Colchester County to come together and partner with this project,” said Chamber President, Matthew Mossman. “To be able to create this opportunity to help bring in physicians to our area by offering temporary housing is so beneficial to recruitment efforts.”
The partnering organizations are members of a Community Physician Recruitment Committee for Truro and Colchester, along with the three local municipalities and Millbrook First Nation. The group has been working with the province for more than five years in an effort to recruit physicians to this region.
A lack of housing in the region is impacting the ability for employers to recruit new employees and unfortunately this issue has also been identified as an ongoing barrier to physician recruitment.
The Partnership, partially funded by the business community, has a dedicated employee working hands-on with physician recruitment activities.
“Our objective with this project is to provide incoming doctors with a soft landing in the community”, said Mark S. Wood, TCPEP Chair. “As opposed to having to scramble to find a place to live, a doctor coming to our community can settle into a comfortable, ready-to-go space”. Wood added that TCPEP is happy to be collaborating with the Chamber on this innovative new offering. “It is just another important piece in our ongoing effort to attract family doctors to our area.”
An estimated 20 per cent of the population of Truro and Colchester is currently not assigned to a Family Physician.
The Chamber and Partnership have combined funds to invest about $30,000 to support the pilot project including the lease, insurance, cleaning and other associated costs. The project launches this month with clients ready to move in on a short-term basis.
The apartment will be available for short-term accommodations for new physicians moving to the area, those providing locum (temporary coverage for another in the region physician) or residents and medical students needing accommodation as part of their education such as job shadowing or work terms in the region.
The Chamber will manage the financial part of the project while the Partnership will co-ordinate with physicians requiring accommodation support.
“I’m happy to see the Chamber, along with our partner, be a part of an idea and once again turning that idea into solution-oriented action that will positively benefit our community,” said Mossman.
While the organizations are pleased to offer this support, they also recognize it is a temporary solution.
Wood added that, “while this pilot project is a big step forward in our effort, the important work to close the physician gap continues”.
We will continue to do and try new things to ensure that doctors know they will be welcomed and valued in Colchester County”.
Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce
J. David Phillips
Truro and Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity