Like many other Northern Ontario communities, Black River-Matheson is actively seeking two new doctors.
The Bingham Memorial Hospital has been given permission to increase the number of doctors it has from two to three.
Long-serving Dr. Stephan Chiang has informed the board as of Oct. 17 he will move his medical practice to Iroquois Falls.
This will leave Dr. George Freundlich as the community's only physician. He too is a long-serving member of Matheson's medical community and in 2009 was recognized by the province for his outstanding dedication.
Matheson, along with the Bingham Memorial Hospital Board, has a physician recruitment and retainment committee in place, which was actively looking for one doctor prior to Chiang's decision to return to Iroquois Falls.
Black River-Matheson Mayor Mike Milinkovich is optimistic that because of the lifestyle the community has to offer they will be successful in their search for two doctors.
He does admit, however, that in terms of doctor recruitment things are tight all over.
Iroquois Falls and Cochrane are also actively recruiting doctors.
Milinkovich said Matheson has a well co-ordinated approach that includes Bruce Perkin, who is CEO of Bingham Memorial Hospital, Anson Hospital in Iroquois Falls and Lady Minto Hospital in Cochrane, and Bingham board chairman Merv Anthony, himself and council.
Through a partnership between the three area hospitals, Perkin is CEO of all them but each hospital is tackling its own doctor recruitment program.
While Matheson is actively recruiting two doctors, Anson Hospital has openings for three doctors and the Lady Minto Hospital in Cochrane needs five.
Despite the need throughout the district Milinkovich believes that Dr. Freundlich will indicate to other doctors that Matheson has a very professional atmosphere for them to work in and will help during the recruitment process.
Milinkovich noted that when Dr. Chiang moved to Matheson many of his patients came with him and he anticipates a number of Dr. Chiang's patients will continue to see him Iroquois Falls, which will take a little strain from the system.
Milinkovich said everyone is doing what they can to attract two new doctors to the Bingham Memorial Hospital.