City’s Family Physicians Recruitment Incentive Program brings nine new doctors to the community but needs support to continue

The City of Kingston is committed to ensuring the health of its residents and it is demonstrating this commitment by working to address the ongoing shortage of family physicians in our community.  

In 2021, City Council approved funding for the Family Physician Recruitment Incentive Program. The program officially launched in January 2022 and since its implementation, it has successfully attracted nine new physicians who will practice family medicine in the city.  

“We’re so happy to welcome our newest family physicians to the community,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. “Providing access to health care and reducing waitlist times for residents has been a top priority for City staff, and the results of their innovative recruitment efforts will benefit people across the community,” adds Paterson.  

Kingston, like municipalities across the province and country, has experienced a concerning shortage of family doctors. In 2019, Council approved the development of a Family Physician Supply Plan for the city that assessed this shortage and developed a process to address it.  

“Through research, creative thinking and collaboration, the City has successfully brought nine new and talented family doctors to our area, but we recognize this is just a start,” says Craig Desjardins, Director of Strategy, Innovation & Partnerships.  

“Since the onset of the pandemic however, we know of seven family physicians who have retired. We have been able to help mitigate a potentially disastrous situation of adding to the list of residents without family doctors. However, if we are to achieve our ultimate goal of every resident having access to a family doctor, we will need support from our partners,” he adds.  

The City of Kingston is calling on the federal and provincial governments to lead  recruitment and retention of family physicians in Kingston and across the Province. Municipalities do not have the appropriate revenues to sustain health care needs and while the City is investing millions in health care it is in turn not spending these funds on municipal services such as roads or parks. 

“While the City of Kingston stepped outside its lane to address an urgent and ongoing need, it’s time for all levels of government to come to the table to solve this problem that affects the majority of Ontario municipalities,” says Mayor Paterson. “We are ready to meet with the province, federal government or do whatever it takes to help ensure that our community has a roster of family physicians to care for our community,” concludes Paterson. 

Media Opportunity: Welcome New Family Physicians  

Members of media are invited to a Media Event to welcome the community’s newest family physicians.  

  • Date: Thursday, Sept. 1. 
  • Time: 12:15 p.m.  
  • Speakers:       
    • Bryan Paterson, Mayor, City of Kingston 
    • Dr. Michael Green - Queens Family Health Team  
    • Dr. Joy Hataley (Ontario Medical Association District 7 Chair) 
  • Location: Queen’s Family Health Team Clinic - 115 Clarence St., Haynes Hall, 1st Floor Seminar Room. 

Please confirm your attendance by emailing [email protected]