I was speaking to an aged, wise and much loved physician regarding the dismal condition of access to family physicians. I expressed my confusion over the trumpet tooting blarney coming from our current liberal overlords. We keep hearing about new family physicians being hired and yet we have a list of poor souls who do not have a family doctor and in many cases desperately need one. The last number I heard was 1400. They are thrown into the delivery system provided by walk in clinics where the goal is to put as many people through the clinic as possible, earning the willing physician significant sums of money. People with serious and life-threatening health conditions are not receiving the type of follow up that one has a right to expect in this wonderful country.
The physician went on to explain that often retiring doctors are replaced by two doctors. Thus, while there is an additional Dr. count there are no new doctors picking up the poor souls sitting in the overcrowded walk-in clinics. When a (male) dr. points out that it can hardly be expected for a female Doctor Who is juggling a life and family with her practice to carry the same load as a retiring doctor he is accused of being a misogynist and told to shut up.
I have an incredible respect for doctors and nurses and I am appreciative of the wonderful service that I received from the medical system in Canada. I also understand the times have changed and that our expectation of the level of service that our family doctor will provide must change too. My recently retired family doctor started his day at the hospital at 6 AM and was seldom home before 8 PM. At age 52 he had had enough and permanently closed his practice. No one can blame him for wanting his life back. He was and is a good and decent human being and his patients were better off for having had his service.
He was replaced by two doctors.
We are long past the time for more committees or more studies. Even the most stunned of us realize that we need more family doctors and that those doctors do not belong to us-they deserve a life outside of work. We are beyond the crisis point and it is time for whatever government happens To be in power to recognize where limited dollars must be allocated. The answer to that is not to allocate more money to political cronies and vested interest. Start taking care of the people who need care.