Health care leaders call for a pan-Canadian commission to study medical workforce issues

OTTAWA, Nov. 10, 2015 /CNW/ - Canadian health care leaders are actively seeking solutions to address Canada's medical workforce planning that is currently misaligned to meet the present and future health care needs of patients and communities.

Last week, more than 130 representatives attended the 2015 National Physician Employment Summit. Participants included members of Canada's medical organizations, governments, medical regulatory authorities, medical educators, researchers, physicians, residents and medical students. During the two-day meeting, participants undertook initial steps to develop a multi-stakeholder action plan to aid physician employment and better inform health workforce planning in Canada.

Summit dialogue was informed by the latest physician employment data in Canada, health system and workforce trends and international case studies. In his opening remarks, Dr. Kevin Imrie, President of Royal College, recounted the "boom and bust" cycle Canada has followed with physician workforce planning. "Too often this boom and bust approach has been detrimental to new physicians and, even more regrettably, it has been at the expense of patients who need medical care."

"The physician employment problems we face today are symptomatic of broader health system challenges," said Mrs. Danielle Fréchette, Executive Director of Health Systems, Innovation and External Relations at the Royal College.

The summit featured a facilitated approach to seek input from all participants on a way forward. At the end of the two days, majority support was formed around the creation of a time-limited commission. The commission would be charged to study the nature and shape of our current health workforce, to better understand our current gaps and shortfalls in meeting patients' needs, and to take steps to learn from other comparator jurisdictions.

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada agreed to facilitate the formation and creation of this new commission and to continue this important national dialogue.

About the Royal College

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is the home of specialty care in Canada, setting the standards for postgraduate medical education, supporting the continuing professional development of 47,000 doctors and Resident Affiliates, and supporting health system innovations nationwide. To find out more, please visit


SOURCE Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

For further information: Sandra Shearman, Manager, Communications, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada,, 613-730-8177 ext. 464, 613-614-3740


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