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Council continues to prioritize physician shortage

​Prioritizing the health and wellbeing of all residents is a top priority within Lethbridge City Council's Gateway to Opportunity 2022 Action Plan and, as such, Council has committed to partnering with key stakeholders to help recruit more family doctors to Lethbridge.

By joining together with the Chinook Primary Care Network (CPCN), AHS and Economic Development Lethbridge (EDL), the City of Lethbridge has an opportunity to play a role in the areas of coordination, marketing, advocacy, partnerships and incentives. This work aims to sell physicians on the many different benefits of building a life, and business in Lethbridge.

Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to allocate $15,000 from Council Contingencies to a family physician marketing and recruitment campaign in partnership with the CPCN, AHS, EDL and other interested partners.

As part of Tuesday's resolution, Council also directed the City Manager to continue to explore opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with AHS and CPCN and report back, as well as to write a letter to Health Minister Jason Copping advocating for support/funding for an Academic Teaching Clinic in Lethbridge.

"City Council is continuing to show our commitment to Lethbridge residents with a common goal of recruitment and retention of family physicians for our community," says Mayor Blaine Hyggen. "Having strong primary health care is vital to the growth and wellbeing of our entire community."

Tuesday's actions stemmed from a Family Physician Shortages Update and Proposed Action Plan presented on April 27 to the Cultural and Social Standing Policy Committee. That meeting and full update can be viewed here.

Advocacy efforts will continue as necessary to ensure Lethbridge is top of mind when decisions are being made and how we can partner and collaborate with the Alberta Government for the benefit of Lethbridge residents.

Additional Advocacy items related to health care topics in Lethbridge:

  • Partnership and promotion of the Virtual Opioid Dependency Program with Mental Health and Addictions
  • Sending a letter to the Premier from Lethbridge City Council advocating for the addition of a catheterization lab in Lethbridge
  • Continued Advocacy for EMS Dispatch improvement since changes were implemented in January 2021