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Access to a doctor: it’s far from improving, says a general practitioner

“Right now, politicians claim that we have never had so many doctors. I do not want to be a prophet of misfortune, but I think things will get worse, “says Dr. Simon-Pierre Landry, a general practitioner working at the Laurentien Hospital in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. According to him, the rise of medical cohorts will not, in the short or medium term, improve the situation of access to a doctor, in Quebec as in Canada.

The aging of the population and the increase in the consumption of care – even healthy patients consult a doctor more often than those of previous generations – make access to a doctor more and more difficult in years to come. come, notes the general practitioner.

According to him, other health professionals will inevitably have to come in support to carry out simpler tasks, formerly accomplished by the doctors. “We can think of nurses, in remote areas, who have the right to make diagnoses,” says Simon-Pierre Landry as an example.

Also, governments will be forced to train more general practitioners and less specialists to provide more care at lower costs, especially to meet the needs in rural areas, says the general practitioner.

The Quebec case, an unmanageable system

In terms of the distribution of medical resources in Canada, Quebec is a little apart, notes Simon-Pierre Landry, in that it is the only province where the department Health and Social Services dictates where doctors will work.

It is the ministry that authorizes or not a doctor to practice in a region. It is this same ministry, as well as the regional administration, that then decide what kind of practice the doctor will perform.

In the rest of Canada, particularly in British Columbia, the management style is more decentralized, free and flexible. Hospital positions are posted on a website, and physicians wishing to apply for a position can do so in a transparent manner.

The problem with the way Quebec operates is that it leads to opacity and bureaucracy. […] And it’s a system that can not adjust quickly.

Simon-Pierre Landry, general practitioner

“For example, when I applied for a replacement, because one of my colleagues had a serious cancer, it took so long to manage my application that the officials allowed me to recruit. .. two years later! That’s just for authorization: it does not even include the time to find a doctor, “he says.

According to Simon-Pierre Landry, the Quebec system is unmanageable and should be oriented towards the British Columbia model.

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