Nepean MPP Lisa MacLeod met with Ontario Medial Association President Dr. Andrew Park Thursday, Aug. 17 to discuss issues facing her Nepean riding as well as the Province of Ontario.
“Getting physicians into our community and to ensure that people die with dignity at home are two of the topics we discussed today,” MacLeod said in a video posted to the X platform.
The shortage of family practitioners has been an issue that extends far beyond Barrhaven, as cities and communities throughout Ontario and Canada have been dealing with similar problems.
Dr. Park, who is also an emergency room doctor, represents 44,000 physicians as the President of the OMA.
“We’re really here to advocate and to ensure that patients across the province have the best access to health care,” he said. “A lot of that starts with family medicine.”
MacLeod thanked Park for the advocacy work he and his members have been doing. She also thanked him for “the work you are doing with our government to ensure that we do have more family physicians in our communities.” MacLeod added that “we are releasing your burden of red tape and that we are able to help more elderly patients across province get care at home.”
Last month, the Ontario government announced it was creating new pathways to connect more people to care across the province, both for now and for future generations. As part of Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care, the government is launching three new programs that will break down barriers for internationally educated physicians to work in Ontario, retain more health care workers with mentorship opportunities and explore innovative ways that health care workers can deliver convenient care to people in their own communities.
“Our government is growing our health care workforce to make it easier for people to connect to the care they need for years to come,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “These new initiatives will allow international physicians to work sooner, support experienced nurses to share their skills and knowledge, and explore innovative ways to grow our workforce for future generations.”
The “As of Right” rules make Ontario the first province to allow highly-trained physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and medical laboratory technologists already registered or licensed in another Canadian jurisdiction to start work immediately when they arrive without having to first register with one of Ontario’s health regulatory colleges. These changes will help health care workers overcome bureaucratic delays that have made it difficult to practice in Ontario.
Since 2018, 63,000 new nurses and nearly 8,000 new doctors have registered to work in Ontario. Last year, over 15,000 new nurses registered to work and care for people in Ontario – a new record in the province – and another 27,000 nurses are studying at a college or university, ensuring there is a pipeline of talent for the future.