More Canadians Need Access to Family Doctors

Family physicians are a vital link in the healthcare system in Canada, yet there is an alarming number of Canadians without one. This deficiency, experts warn, has resulted in considerable harm, preventable deaths, and illnesses, with the situation predicted to deteriorate before any improvement is seen.

Within Canada's public health care framework, family doctors are integral, providing critical coordination of care and ensuring access to preventive healthcare, medication, diagnostic tests, and specialists. Having a family doctor in Canada is not a luxury but a fundamental requirement.

Dr. David Barber, a family physician and chair of the general and family practice section of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), stated that the overall health of the population is likely to worsen as long as significant numbers of people lack easy access to primary healthcare.

While acknowledging the multi-billion-dollar health accord signed between Ottawa and the provinces, which provides additional funding for medical residency positions and recognition of foreign medical qualifications, as a positive step, Dr. Barber indicated that the evidence suggests more action is needed from governments.

Access to a family doctor can be especially important for those who are applying for long term disability. A doctor’s input and medical records are an essential part of a long term disability application.

John Paul Tasker’s "Meet some of the 6 million Canadians who don't have a family doctor" was published on CBC News on February 18, 2024. You can read the full article here.

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