Family doctor shortage in Canada
Canada is facing a shortage of family doctors. Fewer medical school graduates are choosing the specialty of family medicine after witnessing the rising expectations placed on family practices without appropriate resources and the resulting physician burnout. With insufficient administrative support and stagnant payment models, the costs to maintain a family practice are becoming unsustainable. Additionally, some physicians are choosing to retire from family medicine practice earlier than planned, partially related to the exhaustion resulting from working through the COVID-19 pandemic. Fewer family doctors means reduced access to care for people across Canada, worsening health outcomes, and a less efficient health care system.
The CFPC recognizes the challenges family doctors are facing and is advocating and addressing these concerns:
- Use our letter-writing tool to urge your MP to act in support of family physicians practising in Canada.
- Family physicians continue providing care despite burnout, COVID-19 challenges
- The CFPC has called on the federal government to direct a portion of the announced $3.2 billion investment into the recruitment and retention of new health care providers to lighten the administrative load faced by the current practitioners.
- We want to make sure family physicians continue to practice in community-based settings, providing high-quality continuous care to their patients. The College has reported on the potential negative consequences of for-profit virtual care as an alternative.
- The CFPC’s Patient’s Medical Home (PMH) describes a vision of family practice that underscores collaborative care, provides continuity of care, and delivers comprehensive, well-funded care that is preferred by both patients and providers. We have championed the benefits of the PMH vision across Canada, and seen the most recent implementation by the Government of Prince Edward Island.
In the media
The CFPC is speaking up. See our recent media coverage on the family doctor shortage with interviews from CFPC President, Dr. Brady Bouchard: Use our letter-writing tool to reach your MP and share your concerns about the shortage of family physicians practising in Canada.