By Chris Pickup

Dunnville’s Haldimand War Memorial Hospital CEO David Montgomery has approached Haldimand County for a grant to help the county’s two hospitals in a doctor recruitment plan. Montgomery said Dunnville alone is losing three doctors this year.

Munuicipalities are generally reluctant to fund hospitals because it is the province’s responsibility and should not come from the municipal tax base. Mayor Ken Hewitt said at Dunnville’s year end review that while he generally agrees with that philosophy, he was willing to consider it if the hospitals first present the county with a viable plan for the $50,000 they had asked for.

Councillor Bernie Corbett noted that Dunnville Memorial is a major employer in the community. He personally supported the request to financially assist the hospitals in their efforts to attract doctors. He added the funding should come from either the Vibrancy fund or the Hydro Legacy fund.

One meeting attendee felt the county should not be putting up the money the province was responsible for.

However another noted she herself was losing her own doctor and felt funding was warranted. She enquired as to whether other medical staff, such as nurse practitioners were also being recruited.

She explained that while one cannot simply go to a hospital and ask for a nurse practitioner, they should be an important part of health care.  Nurse practitioners have to be ‘attached’ to a doctor, whose responsibility it is to assign certain patients who need ongoing low level monitoring to a nurse practitioner’s care.