Cornwall makes $150,000 doctor recruitment pledge

Cornwall Hospital Foundation Executive Director Amy Gillespie (center) makes a presentation to Cornwall City Council on Monday, March 25, 2019. The city has made a $50,000 annual commitment to a doctor recruitment program for the next three years. Also shown are Cornwall Hospital Foundation chairman Todd Lauzon (left) and Dr. Joseph Newbigging of the Queen's University School of Medicine (right). (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The City of Cornwall will be putting $50,000 a year over the next three years toward a doctor recruitment program with the Cornwall Hospital Foundation and Queen’s University.

Council suspended its usual rules of having a report come back after the Cornwall Hospital Foundation made a presentation on its “Adopt a Medical Resident” program, asking for the partnership funding.

The hospital is getting two doctors this year and then one doctor next year and in 2021. The medical professionals from Queen’s also have to sign a promise to say in Cornwall and practice in the ER for two years.

The cost to have the doctors is $135,000 per year and the hospital foundation is also fundraising to cover the balance. The city’s contribution will cover 37 per cent of the budget.

The new doctors are fully licenced general practitioners (GPs) but are doing their medical specialty placements as part of the family medicine-emergency medicine (FM-EM) program.

Council was fully supportive of the program, noting that every community is trying to get doctors.

As for where the money will come from, Coun. Justin Towndale noted the medical recruitment reserve fund will have roughly $482,000 this year. Mark Boileau, the general manager of planning, development and recreation, said the fund is being underutilized right now.

The first year of funding will come from that reserve fund.

You can read more about the program in detail from our story in November 2018 here.