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(Fredericton, NB) – The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce board of directors and Physician Recruitment & Retention Committee attended Horizon Health Network’s annual “Home for the Holidays” event at the Dr Everett Chalmers Hospital on December 22, 2014. The event, a reception for Fredericton’s medical residents and medical students home for the holiday break, is a chance to for these young physicians to become more familiar with the community and the opportunities to open a practice here full­time upon completion of their studies.

“We have seen support from chamber members grow over the years for this event and the work of our Physician Recruitment & Retention Committee generally,” said Joseph O’Donnell, Chamber President. “This year we have donations from nearly three dozen chamber members for our gift bags and door prizes ­ access to primary health care is a major issue for the business community in Fredericton.”

There are currently seven vacant billing numbers for family physicians in Fredericton and more than 9,000 citizens on the Patient Connect NB waiting list.

“The problem has been getting worse in the Fredericton area,” added Krista Ross, Chamber CEO. “The list has been growing and we are anticipating more retirements in the coming months, which will exacerbate the issue greatly. Establishing a community health clinic in its temporary location in the Centennial Building was a great step in the right direction. Now we need the government to continue with its plan to move the clinic into a permanent location with increased capacity.”

The chamber’s Physician Recruitment & Retention Committee has been active since 2008 and in addition to direct contact with physicians, also advocates to government on policy issues.

“Fredericton chamber members have consistently identified access to primary health care as near the top of their concerns,” Ross said. “One of the big issues with recruiting physicians New Brunswick is a lack of financial incentives from the Department of Health. So we try to fill the void a little by letting them know that we can try to make their transition to practice easier through helping find office space, professional services and the like.”

The chamber also hosts a reception in the summer months when new residents arrive to begin their training in the city.

Contact: Krista Ross, Chamber CEO (506) 458­-8006

With more than 900 members, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is New Brunswick’s largest chamber of commerce. A dynamic business organization, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is actively engaged in policy development that affects the competitiveness of our members and of the Canadian business environment.

P.O. Box 275, 364 York Street, Suite 200, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, E3B 4Y9
E­mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    Website:  www.frederictonchamber.ca
Tel: 506­ 458­8006  Fax: 506 451­1119