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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Milton

“I’ve been a family doctor for more than 20 years. Now, I have no choice but to close my practice

Rising costs, new administrative duties and subsequent burnout have made it impossible for physician Fan-Wah Mang to keep her Mississauga clinic open. Delivering the news to her patients—many of whom have nowhere else to go—broke her heart

BY FAN-WAH MANG, AS TOLD TO ANTHONY MILTON | PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRENT GOODEN |  APRIL 18, 2024


Everyone knows it’s nearly impossible to find a family doctor in Canada, with 6.5 million people across the country going without a regular physician. Last year, Ontario allowed pharmacists to prescribe treatments for some minor ailments, like pink eye and cold sores, but it’s far from the level of care patients receive in a doctor’s office. And private clinics are popping up across the province to fill the gap—for those who can pay. To make matters worse, a growing number of family doctors are walking away from the public system, citing poor funding and overwhelming paperwork. One such physician is Fan-Wah Mang, a 53-year-old family doctor who’s shutting down her Mississauga practice after more than 20 years because she’s overwhelmed by rising costs and administrative burdens. Here, she explains the dysfunction plaguing Ontario’s health care system.


From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a doctor. And when I pictured a physician, it was always a family doctor—the only kind I’d ever met. So, in 1989, I started my undergrad at the University of Toronto, and after my second year, I was accepted into the school’s medical program. By then, I knew a bit more about the field, but I still liked the jack-of-all-trades aspect of family medicine. I got my independent medical licence in 1997, and after six years travelling across the province as a locum, or substitute doctor, I joined a family clinic in Mississauga in 2003. I became the fourth doctor to share the practice.



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