We don't want to find out what happens if family doctors start leaving the province — or the profession.
Dec 18 2023
Our hospitals are going to continue to operate under enormous strain for as far into the future as anyone can see. It is probably more realistic at this point to accept, both emotionally and pragmatically, that the health-care system, specifically the hospitals, will never go back to pre-2020 levels of baseline demand, at least during the fall and winter months. That will require building more hospitals, and then funding and staffing them, as well as tackling the long-standing issues regarding "alternate level of care" patients — those ready to leave hospitals but who remain there because backlogs in other parts of the system leave them with nowhere to go.
We already know with certainty that a big part of why our hospital system is strained is because millions of Ontarians lack access to a family doctor: when sick or injured, even if their condition is fairly mild, these people often have no choice but to seek care at a hospital. Family doctors are scarce, walk-in clinics are often a fool’s errand. The hospital ER is often the only real alternative.