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AHS says progress being made on addressing Lethbridge doctor shortage

File photo. (Hannah McKay/Pool Photo via AP)

Alberta Health Services provided an update on Friday with regard to efforts to attract more family physicians to Lethbridge.

“AHS has 13 active family medicine positions being advertised for Lethbridge,” the health authority told Global News. “Twenty-three individuals were interviewed during the initial round.

“Eleven applicants have committed to the community and are awaiting their CPSA (College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta) assessment.”

According to AHS, one of those applicants “has commenced the first portion of their assessment, which will target their practice start in Lethbridge in early September.”

The health authority said the others are likely expected to start before the end of the year.

“Six of the new recruits visited Lethbridge last week for site visits and tours of the community, and we are in the midst of another round of interviews,” AHS added.

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READ MORE: Lethbridge expected to add 11 more doctors by 2023: officials

In April, Global News reported that an estimated 33,000 people in Lethbridge are without a family physician, and that no doctors were accepting new patients in the city.

Click to play video: '11 more doctors expected in Lethbridge by 2023: officials' 11 more doctors expected in Lethbridge by 2023: officials
11 more doctors expected in Lethbridge by 2023: officials – Apr 28, 2022

Last month, Lethbridge city council voted to allocate $15,000 from contingency funding to a family physician marketing and recruitment campaign, in partnership with the Chinook Primary Care Network, AHS and Economic Development Lethbridge.

READ MORE: Lethbridge city councillors address doctor shortage at meeting

City council also directed Lethbridge’s city manager to keep working to find opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with AHS and CPCN and to report back. It also called for a letter to be sent to Alberta’s health minister advocating for support and funding for an academic teaching clinic in Lethbridge.

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–With files from Liam Nixon, Danica Ferris and Eloise Therien, Global News

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