Kamloops MP launches recruitment video to help attract doctors to local riding

MP advocates for doctors

MP Frank Caputo is adding his voice to the doctor shortage issue.

The Conservative Opposition member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo debuted a recruitment video at the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, which he hopes will help incentivize healthcare professionals to land in his riding.

“We can help with the immigration process — no queue jumping, no one will get preferential treatment — but you'll have assistance through our office if this is a place where you want to come,” Caputo said.

Caputo says he’s trying to do something different by advocating as the MP on healthcare.

“I don't know if I've ever seen a campaign from the Member of Parliament,” Caputo said. “Perhaps it's not reinventing the wheel, perhaps we're just making a different kind of wheel, and I'm prepared to do my best and to personally reach out to people.”

Caputo said he’s hoping to attract healthcare workers internationally, or from areas of Canada already “fully serviced” by health care professionals.

“My sense is that some of the larger communities have better service than the smaller communities,” Caputo said.

MP prepared to ask right questions in Ottawa

The 1:32 minute video features testimonials from a hospitalist and two orthopaedic surgeons, as well as the MP touting the various benefits to living in the riding. The footage showcases Royal Inland Hospital, Kamloops and various local amenities.

“Our goal is to tell the world — not just Canada — tell the world just how wonderful Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo is, that this is a great place to live, this is a great place to be a health care worker,” Caputo said at Tuesday’s press conference.

Caputo told Castanet Kamloops the video cost $4,567 to produce and was paid for out of his Parliamentary budget.

Asked what sort of advocacy he was planning to do on this file in Ottawa, Caputo said he intends “to ask the right questions” and as an opposition member of Parliament hold the government to account.

“And when I'm ever in a position to make those changes to listen to the people on the ground and implement those things,” Caputo said.

While the delivery of healthcare is predominantly a provincial issue, there is some overlap with the federal government, Caputo noted.

IH happy for help

Caputo said that while it’s not clear how much of an impact the video will have in recruitment, he did not want to sit back and do nothing about the issue.

Caputo said he decided to make the video after receiving numerous emails from constituents about health care issues, particularly not having a family doctor.

“We have to take care of one another, and, as your member of Parliament, I am doing my best to serve, and so much of how we serve and the way we serve is done based on where we put our priorities, so I decided to put my money where my mouth was so to speak, and we created a video,” Caputo said.

In an emailed statement, Interior Health told Castanet Kamloops it appreciates the help from the MP.

“Interior Health is actively recruiting provincially, nationally and internationally to fill vacancies and increase staffing at Royal Inland Hospital and other IH sites in Kamloops, and we appreciate the advocacy and support for our recruitment efforts,” IH said in a statement.

“We continue to work with municipalities, educational institutions, and community partners to attract and retain health-care talents in our communities.”

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