Doctors Becoming Scarce in Canada

Canadian Author
Jan 20th 2018 0 Comments

If you are a foreign doctor who wants to move to Canada, then this may be the right time to make that move. A recent study by The Frasier Institute has evidenced that there are simply not enough quailed medical practitioners in Canada. Currently, Canada ranks 29th out of 33 countries in the developed world for the number of medical doctors that they have relative to the number of people living in the country. Doctors are at the heart of health care, whether it is by seeing patients every day as a General Practitioner or working as a specialist at a hospital, or even being behind developing medical devices and new drugs. At some point, everyone needs to see a doctor, for small ailments or more severe illnesses such as cancer and diabetes.

Unlike say house painting, this is not a skill that you can just do yourself as to become a doctor takes many years of training, with only the cleverest of students getting into medical school. With Canada ranking so low for the number of doctors per capita, it suggests that Canada is facing a real scarcity of medical professionals which will only get worse with Canada’s aging population increases.

Many Canadians are struggling to find a General Practitioner to be registered with, and many faces long waits to see a hospital consultant or a specialist. The population of Canada predicted to grow, especially as Canada has an immigration plan to bring in skilled foreign workers and family members of immigrants already living in Canada. This combined with the aging population means new doctors are needed urgently otherwise Canada could face a health crisis. Many foreign-trained doctors are immigrating to Canada, which will boost the current ratio of 2.74 doctors for every 1000 Canadians to 2.97 by 2030, but this still is not a high enough number. It means that in 2030 the number of medical doctors will be 13% below the average of other developed countries. The Canadian Medical Association is also lobbying for doctors to work fewer hours per week, which will also exacerbate the issue.

What can be done to address this problem?

The obvious answer is to support more young people into going to medical school and increase the funding for residencies. Another option is to look outside Canada for foreign doctors and fast track them for Canadian residency. Other policies might more efficiently address the relative scarcity of physician services. Nurses could also be trained to be nurse practitioners, to deal with basic medical procedures. Whatever the way, now is a good time for foreign doctors to move to Canada for work.


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