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Funding announced to support community efforts to recruit doctors

The provincial government has announced $200,000 will be offered to communities through the Healthy Communities Stream of the Culture Innovation Fund
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The provincial government has announced $200,000 will be offered to communities through the Healthy Communities Stream of the Culture Innovation Fund. 

Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage Leo Glavine made the announcement in front of the public and media on Wednesday morning in Halifax.

The fund will provide up to $25,000 for each community that applies, to try to market their culture and amenities to new doctors.

"Physicians were saying this is great to know about the regional hospital, but what's happening in your community? What's here for my family?" Glavine tells NEWS 95.7.

Glavine says that communities like Yarmouth, Amherst and Pictou were already looking at ways of doing this.

"Communities asked us, is there some way we could have smaller amounts of money to assist with the visit of a physician who was a prospect for their community," he explains.

Each community will have to pitch their ideas when they apply for the fund, which will be dispersed in two rounds.

"We will want to know how they're going to spend, what will their expenditures be?" Glavine says.

The minister says that it's best to allow communities to promote themselves, rather than the provincial government, since they know their town best.

"The people who know that best are citizens who have spent considerable time in those communities," he says. "Especially in relation to schools, activities and a full range of living benefits in communities."

Glavine thinks the money will go towards everything from creating a booklet or video to promote their community, to having potential doctors visit during community festivals or events.

"We've had examples where doctors will come to communities, but really didn't feel they knew the community completely, and I think this will give us a much better opportunity and edge," he adds.

For now the fund is capped at $200,000 for both rounds, but Glavine says there could be subsequent announcements.

"We'll have to see how far this current amount of money takes us," he says.

The fund is open to municipalities, museums, libraries, social enterprises, First Nations communities and community groups and cultural organizations that are registered not-for-profits.

Glavine hopes that this will give potential doctors a better idea of the full range of activities and life our province can offer.

"While we're focusing on the need for family medical practitioners, they also come to a community to live."

The first round of applications closes on September 19.

For more info, visit NovaScotia.ca




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Victoria  Walton

About the Author: Victoria Walton

After graduating from journalism at King's, Victoria Walton now works in the film industry and as HalifaxToday.ca's weekend editor.
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