Niagara Working To Close Gap On Chronic Doctor Shortage

(Click on ‘keep reading’ in this story for a complete list of new doctors in your area.)

By Doug Draper

Niagara’s ‘Physician Recruitment Program’ managed to attract 19 new family doctors this year, slowly but surely closing a gap on a chronic physician shortage that has left many in the region without a family doctor of their own for more than a decade.
“This has been a great year in regards to recruitment,” Josie Faccini, regional recruiter for the program told Niagara At Large recently. “I would like to express my gratitude to all the family physicians who have decided (to) set up a practice in one of (Niagara’s) we communities.
“We’ve attracted many physicians back to the area, and also have many new grads,” Faccini said. “We’re hoping it will get even better with the medical students and the Niagara campus of McMaster University.”
Those Niagara area residents looking for a family doctor are encouraged to visit to seek out a doctor in their community. A list of the physicians recruited this year and the Niagara municipalities they have set up practice in are listed below.

(The * in front of the names in this list indentifies the physicians who are still accepting patients.)

  Dr. Francois Viviers– NOTL
*Dr. Reg Quart– St. Catharines
*Dr. Anjali Kundi– Welland
*Dr. Tom Greavette- St. Catharines
*Dr. Nico VanRensburg-St. Catharines
*Dr. Rhonda Collins-St. Catharines
*Dr. Mathura Ravindran-St. Catharines
*Dr. David Aksoy– Fort Erie
*Dr. Jason St. Hilaire– Fort Erie/ Port
*Dr. Michelle Barrington-Niagara Falls/CHC
*Dr. David Wan-St. Catharines
*Dr. Matt Greenway-St. Catharines
*Dr. Melissa McEwen-Beamsville
*Dr. Anne Aube-Beamsville
*Dr. Nibal Lubbad-Grimsby
*Dr. Haibo Xu –Port Colborne
  Dr. Barb Bennett– St. Catharines
*Dr. Bob Frech—Fort Erie/CHC

The Niagara Physician Recruitment Program has been in operation since June 2001. The program is responsible for marketing the region of Niagara to prospective family physicians that are interested in setting up a family practice or joining group practices and has managed to reduce the region’s doctor shortage significantly over the past eight years.
Niagara is underserved by 72 family physicians, according to the Ontario Ministry of Health’s updated “under serviced area list.” The program is now working on a five-year contract with Niagara’s regional government with an annual budget of $100,000.
The current contract runs to the end of 2010.


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