2018-02-08 from cbc.ca

When Dr. Simon Bonnington first thought of leaving his home in Somerset, England, for Nova Scotia, he chalked it up to a mid-life crisis.

"I remember, and I still can, sitting in front of my computer screen back in the U.K. in my office, looking at it and thinking, 'What am I doing?'"

But the more he discussed it with his wife, Suzanne, they realized that leaving was a necessary choice.

The Search: an in-depth look at Nova Scotia's doctor shortage

In 2010, Simon, Suzanne, Oliver and Abigail Bonnington packed their bags, moving from a town of 45,000 to Annapolis Royal: population 500.

Bonnington says it was the best decision they could have made. 

"They'll have to carry me out of here in a box or feasibly not even that," he jokes. "My wishes would be to be scattered on the basin."

Amidst the doctor shortage, the Bonningtons have become the poster family for recruitment in the province.

They are the definition of the ideal candidates: a family happy to live and commit to a rural community.

Bonnington describes the doctor shortage as an international issue. He points to a lack of doctors in the U.K. and some parts of the United States, including Hawaii, which are trying to hire more health-care workers.

Even with all those options, the family turned their attention to Nova Scotia, a place they had visited on vacation.


They knew the lifestyle would be ideal. And the fact that family doctors in the province are paid the worst in the country was something Bonnington was willing to accept.

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