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INSIDE THE VILLAGE: When your town runs out of doctors

This week on the podcast: The doctor shortage plaguing the province reached a scary level this week, forcing an emergency department in northern Ontario to lock its doors for 48 hours. Is there a cure?

​Welcome back to Inside the Village, a one-of-a-kind podcast where all news is local — and no topic is off-limits.

On this week's episode: The doctor is out, forcing an emergency department in small-town Ontario to temporarily lock its doors.

The announcement triggered quite a few headlines earlier this week: Citing the ongoing doctor shortage across the province, the North Shore Health Network said it had no choice but to order a 48-hour shutdown of its emergency department in Thessalon, Ont., a community of 1,300 people that's a one-hour drive east of Sault Ste. Marie.

Officials said they investigated "all possible options" but were left with only one: to close the emerg between May 24 at 8 a.m. and May 26 at 8 a.m.

Sadly, the situation in Thessalon is not unique. Rural communities across the province — especially in the north — are under constant pressure to adequately staff their healthcare facilities.

On this week's podcast we are joined by Tim Vine, the CEO of the North Shore Health Network. We ask him how things got so dire, if there’s a reasonable cure in sight — and how he sleeps at night knowing that a community he serves has no emergency room for people to depend on.

Hosted by Scott Sexsmith and Michael Friscolanti, the Editor-in-Chief of Village Media, Inside the Village is a news and current affairs podcast that provides a weekly window into some of the best local journalism from across our chain of Ontario newsrooms. Produced by Derek Turner, the program also explores bigger-picture issues that impact people across the province.

Every episode is available HERE. If you prefer the audio version, it is available wherever you find your favourite podcasts.

You can reach us at [email protected].

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