Esquimalt to consider fixing doctor shortage with tax incentives, more clinic space
Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins and city council are exploring options to attract more doctors to the city. (CTV Vancouver island)
Emily Olsen, CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2019 5:49PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 22, 2019 7:01PM PDT
Esquimalt councillors are consulting with municipal staff this week, following up on a list of suggestions on how to attract new doctors to the community.
Suggestions presented to council Tuesday night ranged from providing tax breaks for family doctors and clinics, to increasing available clinic space.
Mayor Barb Desjardins latched onto the suggestion that staff promote the community in a more personal way.
“General practitioners are looking for a good home —some place that they want to set up for a long period of time, that they feel a part of the community,” said Desjardins.
“They're looking for quality of life. I can't think of a better place than Esquimalt for quality of life. But we need to get them here so that they know that too.”
Other options, including salary incentives and fee-for-service plans, are also being considered.
The community currently has one full-time physician, one part-time physician, and over 30,000 people without a family doctor.