Sunday, February 27, 2005

What's up doc?

From what I can tell, there's a real doctor crisis in our country. There are nowhere near enough family doctors to go around - most people I know don't have one or are on a waiting list to get one. This is one of the reasons why leaving my last doctor was such a hard decision.

The federal goverment says it doesn't understand what the problem is - there are plenty of graduates coming out of medical schools. Yet rural places like Geraldton Ontario are about to lose most, if not all their doctors - despite offering salaries up to $400,000 a year with eight months of vacation. The government's solution in one case is to stop allowing doctors to set up practise in big cities until the rural vacancies are filled. In Montreal for example, it's estimated that some 300,000 people are looking for a doctor - which would justify 342 new physicians. But the government would only allow 5 new doctors to set up practise.

Meanwhile, we have immigrating health professionals entering our country, driving cabs for a living - because our laws won't recognize their qualifications and force them to go back to school before they can be certified.

I think it's time to pressure our political representatives to do something about this.


The Mad Perseid said...

I agree that it's a problem that they're out there driving cabs(but only if they don't want to), but on the other hand, there are also ones that do enter medicine.

I think we really have to ask ourselves, do we want medical professionals(???) not trained in our procedures, our laws, our equipment, our etc, and perhaps not even our language, working for our government?

With degrees available online based on your life experience and feelings of aptitude(not to mention delusions of adequacy), I would prefer not to expose myself or my family to "doctors" not properly trained in Da Canadian Values(tm).

Karl Plesz said...

Agreed. I'm all for making sure immigrant professionals meet the standard, I'm just not sure forcing them to go back to school for several years is the most efficient way to do it. Why can't they challenge some kind of exam?

The Mad Perseid said...

I think it's more than a matter of a simple exam. These aren't programmers, you know. Sure, you can take a internationally-trained programmer, plonk him into a programming position in Canada and he'll be able to work(assuming, of course, he learnt his programming in English and actually programmed in English).

It's not the same for doctors. Sure he may know what an aspirin is, but does he know he isn't supposed to use the same set of rubber of gloves on more than one person?

Karl Plesz said...

Don't take me too literally. I don't mean a written exam and it certainly wouldn't be something that could be tested in a day - or even a week. My point is something has to change.

Herbinator said...

I'm the last one to defend the doctors, and I won't. Instead, I'm forced to remark on your ignorance. Medicine is largely blood tests and a couple resultant prescriptions. It aint tough. Anyone can do it.

Think back. I'm sure you have met doctors from France, Germany, Italy, Russia, China, Mexico, South Africa, Egypt, who can't practice in Canada. Perhaps with a year of cultural-adjustment training they could be taught to change their rubber gloves.

MadPerseid, you go get your degree online and start treating people if that is all there is to it. Or better yet, get your online degree and go to Rumania and teach them how to change gloves.