March 20, 2017

Story and photograph by: C. Richard Campbell

Kelly Isfan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Norfolk General Hospital and President and Chief Executive Officer, West Haldimand (Hagersville) General Hospital was accompanied by Carolynn Beam, Physician Liaison to talk to the Club about Physician recruitment in Norfolk.

Carolynn_Beam_Kelly Isfan

Carolynn Beam and Kelly Isfan

We learn that this year Norfolk County did not give $ 50,000 to NGH for Physician recruitment. This is puzzling since the County had contributed this amount for a number of previous years and there is evidence of some success. So, whose responsibility is it to attract Physicians for our predominantly older, below average income county residents? The image of the fee-for-service “Doctor Welby” of the past who actually made house calls, delivered babies whenever and where ever they arrived and worked horrendous hours is gone. Today’s Physician is a self-employed professional working 9 to 5 in an office and probably doesn’t visit you when admitted to the hospital. This has led to recruiting “Hospitalists” by the Isfan-Beam Team. These are the doctors that treat you within the hospital. Along with Hospitalists, the Norfolk recruitment team is looking for Internal Medicine Specialist, Obstetrician/Gynecologist and Emergency Physicians.

The Recruiting Challenges

-         Norfolk is predominantly a rural retirement community

-         54 % of Norfolk is over 55

-         Scarcity of suitable spousal employment

-         No rural incentives to locate here

-         Higher than average employment rate

You can understand an employer recruiting employees for a hospital. But why is the President and CEO having to divert operational funds to recruit Physicians for local communities and Norfolk residents. Shouldn’t that be the responsibility of the Province of Ontario Ministry of Health?

Economic Stat

1 Physician directly employs 3.5 office/support staff which leads to an indirect economic spinoff of the equivalent of 4 persons for a total of 8.5 persons.