A Rural Health Summit was held at Portage la Prairie's Stride Place on Wednesday afternoon between the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce and Doctors Manitoba to discuss the shortage of physicians in rural Manitoba.

Chuck Davidson, the President and CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, spoke with PortageOnline about the summit, acknowledging the challenge of recruiting and retaining doctors in rural communities.

"We had close to about 120 business people as well as doctors, economic development professionals, and healthcare professionals spending the day having discussions in terms of what are some of the challenges and more importantly what are some of the solutions."

Davidson says it was a good day of discussion.

"I think the whole goal for what we heard today is what kind of recommendations can we, as a business and doctors, bring forward to the government to potentially improve the recruitment and retention of doctors in this province."

Davidson, who has been the President and CEO of the Chamber for the last nine years, shares that he believes doctors should feel like their voices were heard during this summit.

"I think that could have easily been the kind of day where it was a day where you complained, and you focused on all of the problems. But I think people focused on what are some of the solutions, and I think bringing together an organization like Doctors Manitoba and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. Some might think, well, that's a little bit odd, but from our perspective, we think that doctors are absolutely critical to growing communities."

Davidson explains that it was a good day for the two to come together and for the chamber to vocalize how essential doctors are to rural Manitoba.

The Chamber President and CEO notes that they will be looking to support doctors and their needs moving forward to ensure they are a strong part of communities.