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Feature Article - September 8, 2005

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September 8, 2005

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Addington Highlands offers to pay tuition to entice doctors

by Jeff Green

Last year representatives from Addington Highlands participated in five doctor recruitment events. This year they will have something more to offer: they will pay one year’s tuition for every a year a student doctor commits to spending in the township.

“Last year at the recruitment events the student doctors would come to our booth and ask if we have an incentive program. When we said no, they went to the next booth and asked the same question. We would like to be able to offer something when we go to those events this year,” Addington Highlands Reeve Ken Hook said in asking for Council’s support for the tuition fee proposal.


The tuition fee offer has the support of Dr. Tobia of the Northbrook clinic.

“Dr. Tobia suggested the outright cash incentives offered by some communities to attract doctors would not work at the Northbrook clinic since the doctors that practice there now would resent and object to a cash incentive being offered to someone new. However, he felt that a tuition incentive would be supported by the other doctors,” Hook said in a letter to Council in support of the scheme.

A similar program has been instituted in Bancroft. A formal contract is prepared and signed by both parties before any money is transferred.

“Dr. Tobia indicates that there are still 500 people in the area who do not have a family physician, so the need is there,” Reeve Hook told Council.

The incentive is not expected to become a burden to taxpayers, however. A fundraising golf tournament, similar to the Pine Meadow Classic, which raised $12,000 for the Pine Meadow Nursing Home this year, is envisioned as a way of funding the program.

The program could cost between $10,000 and $15,000 per year. Council unanimously endorsed Reeve Hook’s proposal and the incentive will be offered to prospective medical students at a doctor recruitment tour to be held later this month in Kingston.

(For more from Addington Highlands Council see page two)

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