Ontario doctors share health care concerns with local leaders and MPP
THUNDER BAY, ON, Sept. 13 /CNW/ - Dr. Janice Willett, President of the
Ontario Medical Association (OMA), is beginning the annual province-wide tour
to meet with doctors and local leaders in cities across Ontario this fall to
raise awareness about the important health-care issues the provincial
government must address.
"We need the province to continue to take steps to strengthen our
health-care system," said Dr. Willett. "Patients must have access to the
doctors, tests and treatments they need and while some progress has been made,
Ontario should be one of the best places to practice medicine and receive
Currently, Ontario is short over 2,000 doctors leaving one million adults
and 130,000 children without access to a family doctor. In addition to the
current doctor shortage, 19 per cent of practising physicians are over the age
of 60 and 11 per cent are over the age of 65, as a result, Ontario could stand
to lose another 2,500 doctors to retirement.
Recent data shows Ontario is not keeping up with other provinces. Based
on a comparison of physician to population ratios, Ontario ranks seventh among
10 Canadian provinces. Ontario has 176 doctors per 100,000 people, while Nova
Scotia ranks first with 218 doctors per 100,000 people. In 2005, Ontario
recorded a net loss of 14 doctors to other provinces, whereas British Columbia
and Alberta both gained doctors.
As a result of these trends, Dr. Willett is calling on the province to
focus on recruitment and retention initiatives. In order to prevent the
shortage from getting worse and bridge the gap until our new medical graduates
are ready to care for patients, Ontario needs a comprehensive strategy to
better manage our current health human resources, including more integrative
models of care through which other health professionals can work closely with
doctors in order to help enhance access to health care.
During her meetings across Ontario, Dr. Willett will be discussing key
issues such as:
- Funding for health information technology for all family doctors and
- Recruiting and retaining family doctors and specialists in Ontario
- Expanding access for patients by allowing more allied health
professionals the benefit of working with doctors
- Future capacity planning to ensure there are adequate family hospital
beds, health care professionals, operating rooms and diagnostic tools
for all the patients that will require care.
Stops on the tour will include: Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Brampton, Niagara,
Toronto, London, Windsor, and Ottawa.
"We need to build on the progress that has already been made," said Dr.
Willett. "Let's continue to address the doctor shortage, measure and decrease
all wait times, and provide more doctors with the technology they need to
improve patient care."
For further information:
For further information: OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or
1-800-268-7215 ext. 2862