QUEEN’S PARK – Today Michael Mantha, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin pressed Health Minister Sylvia Jones on the critical shortage of family physicians and specialists in Northern Ontario during Question Period.
“Rural and Northern communities are especially struggling to ensure residents have access to a physician and primary care,” said Mantha. “My office is constantly hearing from individuals and families who are waiting 2, 3, 4 or more years to be matched with a family doctor.”
According to research by the Ontario College of Family Physicians released in February this year, 2.2 million Ontarians are currently without a family doctor. In their pre-budget submission, the Ontario Medical Association warned that the North is short 350 family doctors and specialists, up from an estimated 325 last year.
“Physicians are trying their best to service their communities but without help from this government they are burning out and are being left no choice but to close their practice,” said Mantha.
MPP Mantha is calling on the government to immediately take measures to recruit the 350 needed positions and retain healthcare professionals already working in the North.