Belleville Doctor Recruitment Program signs new family physician

Dr. Pratima Sharma is the latest physician signed through Belleville’s doctor recruitment program. – Submitted photo

The City of Belleville has announced the enrollment of Dr. Pratima Sharma into the Belleville Doctor Recruitment Program.

A media release from the city explains that Sharma will be joining the program as she completes her residency through the Queen’s Family Medicine Residency Program.

“After residing in Belleville for a year, I cannot envision relocating anywhere else,” Sharma stated. “My husband and I are committed to establishing our roots in this remarkable community and I am eager to continue serving Belleville’s residents as a physician.”

Originally from Nepal, Sharma has been working in Belleville as a clinical assistant for the past year.

“Council is pleased that we have been able to recruit Dr. Sharma,” said Mayor Neil Ellis in the media release. “She has already been providing exceptional care to our residents at the hospital and we can’t wait to see her fulfill her dream of starting her own practice in Belleville.”

As part of its doctor recruitment program, the City of Belleville has gained nearly 50 physicians and five nurse practitioners. The media release explains that “although healthcare and physician recruitment are not a municipal responsibility, the City of Belleville has recognized the shortcomings of the provincial health care system and has implemented one of the most successful recruitment programs in the province.”

The recruitment program is funded by dividends received by the city as a shareholder of Elexicon Energy. Over $6 million has been committed to attracting primary healthcare providers.

For residents seeking a family physician or a nurse practitioner, registering with Health Care Connect (HCC) is essential. HCC serves as a resource used by physicians and government agencies to connect patients with healthcare providers. Registering with HCC is crucial for accessing primary health care in Ontario. Residents can register with HCC by calling 1-800-445-1822 (TTY 1-800-387-5559) or by visiting the HCC website.

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