The Bangor Health Department is looking to cut back on its medical staff.
A $4 million plan to hire more doctors has been put on hold for at least a year, and the department said Tuesday that it is currently looking for new doctors.
The plan to cut staff has been in the works for at most three years.
In 2014, the Bangors’ health system was in the midst of a massive, multiyear effort to find and recruit doctors to help treat a population of more than 5,000 people, most of them veterans.
The medical system was expected to have at least 20 doctors by 2019.
In 2018, the medical system’s chief operating officer told the Bangorgans that there was not enough doctors to treat the growing population, according to an August report in the Bangoro Star News.
The medical system also had a shortfall of nearly 40 full-time physicians by the end of the year, according a June 2017 article in the Star News, and another shortage of doctors would have affected more than a third of the system’s population by the beginning of 2021.
The new plan to reduce staff is aimed at addressing the shortage.
The Bangorgers have been trying to attract new doctors for the past year, with some local communities saying they had been struggling to fill their ranks.
The department’s medical chief, Dr. Dan P. Miller, said that he had been working with local governments to try to fill vacancies in the medical department.
But when the new plan was put on ice in July, Miller said, he found that some communities were refusing to give up on hiring more doctors.
In the meantime, he said, the department is working with other local government agencies and with the Bangoria Council on a plan to try and fill vacancies, which will require the department to hire some new doctors to fill the gap.
He said that the department will begin a new hiring process this month.
“It’s a slow process, but it’s something we’re working towards,” Miller said.