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WHITEHORSE – On July 11 and 12, Canada’s Premiers met in Victoria at the Council of the Federation Meeting where the main topic of discussion was health care funding. In interviews following the meeting, Premier Silver noted that significant investment was needed for the recruitment of health professionals in the Yukon.
“We found it surprising that Premier Silver would request funding from the federal government for the recruitment of medical professionals when his government has done so little on recruitment themselves,” said Health and Social Services Critic Brad Cathers. “Since the territorial Liberal government cut the physician recruitment position in Health and Social Services, the Yukon Medical Association had to step up to hire someone themselves due to this lack of leadership by the Minister and the Premier.”
The Yukon Party Official Opposition is calling on the territorial Liberal government to work with the Yukon Medical Association to reinstate the physician recruitment position within the Yukon Government. The Liberals under the former Minister cut this position. Since then, the Yukon Medical Association was forced to hire a new recruitment position with their own resources, and has been conducting recruitment efforts independent of the Government of Yukon. Further, we urge the government to financially support the physician recruitment and locum initiatives of the Yukon Medical Association.
In addition to reinstating the physician recruitment position, the Yukon Party continues to call on the Government of Yukon to launch a new comprehensive recruitment and retention strategy for doctors and other health professionals.
Currently, over two-thousand Yukoners are on a wait-list for a family doctor. The government’s own Putting People First report found 21 percent of Yukoners did not have access to a family physician, meaning thousands of Yukoners are left behind by our medical system.