Canada is facing a significant challenge in providing regular access to family doctors for its growing population. The shortage of family doctors has led to a situation where more than 6.5 million Canadians do not have regular access to a family doctor. This has prompted the government at both the federal and provincial/territorial levels to address the issue through increased immigration of qualified healthcare professionals.
Barriers for International Medical Graduates (IMGs)
Foreign-trained doctors, also known as International Medical Graduates (IMGs), face unique hurdles in Canada. They often struggle to obtain medical residencies due to quotas on how many IMGs can get a spot. Additionally, the residency system is run by medical schools that tend to favor their graduates, creating challenges for IMGs in pursuing medical practice in Canada.
Addressing the Challenges Faced by IMGs
Canada is making efforts to address the issues faced by IMGs by investing in foreign credential recognition. The Canadian government has committed to investing in foreign credential recognition to ensure that internationally educated and skilled immigrants receive proper recognition for their credentials.
Reasons for the Lack of Family Doctors
Several factors have contributed to the shortage of family doctors in Canada, including declining interest in family medicine among Canadian medical graduates and minimal growth in medical residencies. The declining interest in family medicine among graduates and the minimal growth in medical residencies have created significant roadblocks in accessing family medicine.
Steps Taken to Address the Gap
Both federal and provincial governments are taking steps to address the shortage of family doctors. At the federal level, Canada aims to bring more foreign-trained doctors into the country through category-based Express Entry draws, prioritizing healthcare as one of the key occupational categories. At the provincial level, commitments have been made to expand medical school capacity and establish new medical schools in several provinces. The shortage of family doctors in Canada is a pressing issue that has significant implications for the healthcare system and the well-being of Canadians. By addressing the barriers faced by IMGs and taking proactive steps to increase the number of medical residencies and expand medical school capacity, Canada aims to meet the growing demand for family doctors and ensure access to quality healthcare for its population.
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