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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Payne

One in four Ontario residents could be without a family doctor by 2026

Many family doctors poised to leave practices if no action from government, says Ontario Medical Association.

Published Feb 15, 2024

Ontario Medical Association President Dr. Andrew Park said the province must make an effort to understand what is making family medicine unsustainable. PHOTO BY DUTKO GETTY IMAGES /Getty Images/iStockphoto

A day after a prominent Ottawa family doctor announced he is burnt out and leaving his practice, doctors with the Ontario Medical Association warned there could be many more like him if urgent action isn’t taken by the provincial government.

“We definitely are going to see more of this as we move forward unless there is something done quickly in terms of stabilizing the current system and helping the doctors on the ground,” said Kingston family doctor Dr. David Barber, who is chair of the Ontario Medical Association’s section on general and family practice.

Earlier this week, Dr. Ramsey Hijazi, the Carp family physician who helped form the Ontario Union of Family Physicians to advocate for a different funding model and a reduced administrative burden on family doctors, announced that he is leaving his practice to take a job in a hospital.

Family medicine as it exists in Ontario is a failed business model, Hijazi said. Barber also referred to the business model as failed, noting family physicians have effectively taken a 20 per cent cut in recent years. “That is why they are looking to get out.”


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