Starting next month, Cochrane’s Lady Minto Hospital will have a fulltime general surgeon taking care of its day surgery program.

MICS Health Care Group CEO Paul Chatelain says Dr. Shiraz Elkheir of Fort Frances did a locum stint in Cochrane this summer and decided to move to the community.

“We’ve been working with locums for the past couple years, which has been very good,” Chatelain remarks. “Given these challenging times in terms of physician recruitment, it’s nice to have a permanent solution, at least for a few years.”

He adds that physicians are still pretty scarce.

“There’s a couple leads here and there but we’re not the only ones competing. All the hospitals in not just Northeastern Ontario, all of Ontario are looking to try to hire physicians.”

Right now, says Chatelain, Lady Minto and Anson General in Iroquois Falls are each short three primary care doctors.