Haliburton County is looking into the idea of hiring a hybrid staff member with two mandates.

The CAO of Haliburton County, Mike Rutter, is hoping that efforts to recruit physicians to the area will be made easier by hiring a hybrid staff member. It was decided at the county council, that the county will develop a job description connected to physician recruitment and economic development, as well as add $75,000 to the 2019 budget talks.

Rutter said that recruiting physicians to live and work in the area has been problematic, adding that physician recruitment has had some success over the years. Rutter explained that in 2016, the Physician and Health Professional Recruitment Committee was dissolved after a conversation with the Family Health Organization paired with the fact it made clear through the various recruitment efforts that the recruiting of doctors is not something that someone with a full-time job can do.

According to Rutter, in a meeting with a City of Kawartha Lakes official pointed out that the best option for successful recruitment of doctors is to hire someone. Although it was not in the initial idea, Rutter says in a conversation with a county councillor, the idea of hiring someone to do 2-3 days of physician recruitment and the rest of the work week being dedicated to economic development seemed more feasible.

Through the conversation at the county level, Highlands East Deputy Mayor Cec Ryall pointed out that the county is in competition with its neighbouring communities for doctors, and there is the added challenge that you aren’t just recruiting a doctor, but their families as well.

After a lengthy discussion and a trio of no votes, the resolution allowing the creation of the job description and adding the $75,000 to the budget deliberations was passed.