UK small town’s novel attempt to recruit GP

Rural communities everywhere struggle to find medical personnel – just a few days ago The Current fielded yet another call from a Madawaska Valley resident on the subject – but one small Cornish town is using a music video to attract a GP. As I am in the UK at the moment, an article in today’s Guardian about this novel recruitment campaign caught my eye.

According to the article, Doctor’s notes: Cornish town turns to song in effort to recruit GP, (written by Stephen Morris), the remaining practice partner in Lostwithiel’s surgery asked a local arts-led community interest company to help him come up with “something quite radical” as he had had no luck in recruiting a new doctor. Local people – more than 500 – seized the opportunity to use the power of song to attract a GP. The ingenious video that resulted features the history, rural beauty and many attractions of the area including the river Fowey and community facilities such as schools, shops, churches, food and drink.

The song, written by a local musician and performed by the choir, includes lyrics such as:

“We’ve folks with asthma and young new mothers
We’ve limping fathers and snot-filled others.”

It ends with the words:

We need your time.
It’s a special place to live, if to us you want to give.
You can negotiate your terms, if you’ll keep us free of germs.
Drop us a line.

The five municipalities in western Renfrew County dissolved their Joint Municipal Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee in 2022, and they no longer contribute annual funds to pay for a recruiter. Perhaps the example of this UK community with a catchment area of just 5,000 will inspire our local officials to put on their thinking caps again.

This “must see” video is available on Lostwithiel’s physician recruitment website. Click HERE to view: Lostwithiel Needs a Doctor

The Guardian article is here:


  1. Frank Mallany

    I disagree with the views expressed in the comments regarding immigration. I’m not a fan of Trudeau either but I do agree with his governments’ policies on immigration. The more the better. The vast majority of immigrants coming to Canada are not refugees fleeing their homeland with little more than the clothes on their back. Most are sponsored, well educated, resourceful and come eager to work hard for a better life. Just like many of our parents and grandparents. We need immigrants, and lots of them, if we are to grow and prosper as a nation.
    It’s short sighted to view increased Immigration as a burden to our economy. Long term, new immigrants will fill job vacancies and pay taxes throughout their lifetime. The growing senior’s demographic, which makes up a mere 19% of the population, collectively consumes 45% of all Health Care funding in this country. A demographic that is no longer contributing significantly to Government revenues. In fact, as is well known, there is an entire industry tailored to help seniors pay as little tax as possible. It’s also a fact that collectively, seniors do not even come close to paying enough taxes over their lifetime to cover the Medical Health care dollars they will consume. That’s where Immigration comes in. Without a growing tax base we’ll leave this financial burden to our children and grandchildren.

  2. Dan Olshen

    Kudos to Eva for stating the obvious and if she will permit me, I will borrow some highlights from the Cato institute to reinforce her arguments.
    “The new spending trajectory is inevitable. The spending retains all the cost drivers in public spending, i.e., the variables that dictate spending growth over time. These cost drivers are built into every program dispensing entitlement benefits—cash or in kind—and have three components:
    • A demographic that is considered eligible for the benefit;
    • A benefit, i.e., cash, goods, or services; and
    • A value of the benefit.
    To take an example, the federal government runs a universal tax-paid program called Medicare, which provides health care universally. Its demographic is every man, woman, and child have accessibility.
    The benefit is a list of medical services, which lists what the demographic has the right to, and, by omission, what they cannot expect to be provided with. The value of the benefit is the remuneration that Medicare pays out to health care providers for treating patients.
    Health care costs increase over time along a predictable but steady trajectory defined by, among other things, the size and growth of the eligible demographic. It is also affected by the overall cost of producing health care in the economy.
    To avoid an erosion of the quality and quantity of benefits, and to maintain its roster of citizens entitled to the benefits taxation must increase.”
    Since nothing has happened on the revenue side, the trajectory remains unchanged. The deficit problem to resurface again after a short period time, and to fund this deficit we have increased deficits, which are unsustainable and therefore we have the emergence of deteriorating health care exacerbated by 1 million new immigrants by 2025, and the dismissal of this impact by the federal government is abhorrible, and the end result is a perpetual erosion of HC and increased taxation and the disappearance of the middle class to fund this benefit which already consumes 50% of governmental budgets.
    But the Trudeau liberal government has gained a solid 1 million new liberal bloc of voters, and ensures them perpetual and totalitarian power, and any enlightened reader of “The Current” can see these dynamics at play and the ruse that is being foisted by our hapless government and its complete disregard for the average Canadian. The average Canadian is wakening up at last and the latest Reuters Poll shows 67% are unsatisfied with the direction this country is headed into.

  3. Bernadine Roslyn

    As I recall, it was Mike Harris, not Bob Rae, who reduced the number of training spaces for doctors. His “cost-cutting” measures (actually, they were about downloading costs to lower tiers of government) included hospital closures and the closing of province-run water testing, which resulted in the Walkerton tragedy.

  4. Eve-Marie Chamot

    The main reason that there is a shortage of physicians in Canada is simply because they are not training and graduating new physicians at a sufficient rate to keep up with demand. This “tradition” started with Bob Rae and his Ontario NDP in 1990 as a way to “control” health-care costs by limiting the number of physicians who could bill OHIP so now we have a classic “Soviet-style” healthcare system being micromanaged by politicians who make a complete mess of it. There’s no shortage of dentists (yet!) because the politicians have mostly avoided micromanaging dental care but of course Jagmeet Singh would very much like to change that for the worse. The situation is being aggravated by Trudeau’s sudden decision to import millions of new immigrants for whom there is no housing, healthcare services, or other social and support services but of course Trudeau’s attitude is “What me worry?” like that vacuous Alfred E Neumann character from “Mad Magazine”:- why be smart when you can be stupid, it’s way easier.! When will we finally get rid of the idiotic “boy-men” “farting around” and “screwing up big-time” and replace them with some intelligent adults?

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