Help us fix family doctor shortage ‘crisis,’ GPs tell Ontario election candidates

From the Toronto Star article

The Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) recently launched its campaign, “Life Without A Doctor,” to put what it says is the province’s lack of equitable access to a family doctor front and centre in the provincial election.

Currently, 1.3 million Ontarians live without a family doctor, OCFP reported…

Two recent research studies provide insight.

One found double the proportion of family doctors who stopped working in the first six months of the pandemic compared with previous years.

A second study surveyed Toronto family doctors in January 2021 about their practice.

It found 17 per cent of family doctors said they planned to close their current practice within the next five years.

Dr. Tara Kiran, a principal investigator in both research studies and a family doctor in a family health team at St. Michael’s Hospital, called the findings “an important wake-up call” to address Ontario’s family physician shortage.

“Now we know the pandemic has driven some people out of the workforce, and others are burned out and thinking, for various reasons, to potentially stop working,” said Kiran, who is Fidani Chair in improvement and innovation and vice-chair, quality and innovation at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.

“So, we have a crisis in being able to sustain the health-care resources needed to be able to provide primary care to serve our population.”

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