By Andrea Arnold

Locum Home, a new short-term accommodation listing service, has been created with the goal to help medical service personnel find a place to stay as they travel around or are relocated to communities around the province.

Founder Adrianne Kovacs worked in public health care for over 10 years, mostly in human resources and recruitment. She saw first-hand the difficulty trained professionals had finding accommodations.

“It is a widespread issue that our health authorities aren’t structured to mitigate,” said Kovacs. “I have seen individuals turn down a job offer because they are not able to find a place to live.”

About two years ago, Kovacs had the idea to create an online service providing a list of accommodations available only to registered and practicing medical professionals. A year ago she registered the domain name and in March 2023 the website went live.

“It is similar to AirBnB,” she said. “The difference being, it has a very specific target demographic.”

Her hope is that medical professionals who travel through communities for short-term placements like locums, dentists, and nurses will use the site to locate a place to stay. She also sees it as a way for people looking to move into a community to get a good taste of an area before settling on purchasing a home.

“Not everyone is able to come visit a community for an extended time to house shop,” she said.

As the program is still in its infancy, Kovacs is looking across the province for individuals who have a space that may be able to serve the medical community in this way.

“Specifically I would like to find homes that are sitting empty for much of the year,” said Kovacs. “For example homes of those who travel as snow-birds or have vacation homes. We like single occupancy options, but we are open to any clean, safe and legally-compliant housing option that someone wants to list with us.”

Locum Home does not set the nightly rate Kovacs says. That decision is up to the property owner, but Kovacs says that they encourage hosts to set their nightly and monthly rates below typical short-term vacation rental rates. Locum Home collects a two per cent marketing fee of the rate, and has made a commitment to pass one per cent of their annual profits on to Hospital Foundations across British Columbia.

“We believe that by living the value of giving back to health care, we will attract hosts who will want to do the same,” she said. “We are about giving back to health care, and to communities.”

Her original plan was that only those individuals who are registered professionals regulated by a medical college, currently practicing in BC would have the Locum Home service available to them. However, she has already noticed that some exceptions need to be made.

The example of travelling paramedics was brought to her attention during the question and answer period of her presentation to McBride council on June 27th.

“If a non-registered medical service provider is looking for help finding a place to stay, I ask that they provide me with confirmation of employment from a trusted resource,” said Kovacs. “This can be through the employer, the union, or the local health care provider contacting me confirming the individual’s status.”

Current vacancies in health services listed online for McBride are one physician, two registered nurses, and one occupational therapist. Valemount is looking for one registered nurse.

As well, Kovacs said that the UBC International Medical Graduate (IMG) training program has very recently started their 2023/24 recruitment cycle.

“Each Health Authority in BC nominates upwards of 10 communities to participate in this program each year, so Northern Health will have approximately 10 communities with family doctors coming through for recruitment visits over the next six months, all of whom will eventually be moving to these communities for two to three years,” she said.

Although the exact locations are unknown at this time, Kovacs expects that some of these placements will be looking for accommodation and hopes to be able to provide options through Locum Home listings.

She also explained that the Practice Ready Assessment program will also be placing over 30 International Medical Graduates in clinical assessment communities across BC for three month terms beginning in November and those communities will be announced this month.

“Both of those programs primarily focus on sending physicians to rural communities in BC,” she said.

Through Locum Home, she hopes to draw attention and services into rural BC.

“I believe in this idea,” she said. “It is a little idea that can have a big impact. Not only on health care services, but on whole communities.”

Kovacs can be reached through the Locum Home website,