May 19, 2024
In 2022, Quebec lost 49 more doctors than it gained. And there are no signs the bleeding will stop, despite more than 649,000 Quebecers who don’t have a general practitioner.

Quebec must offer more carrots, fewer sticks to attract family doctors

“A quadruple exodus of family doctors” is creating a crisis within a crisis in Quebec’s beleaguered health-care system

There have been worrying signs in recent weeks that efforts to recruit more desperately needed family doctors in Quebec are not getting the desired results.

After the matching process to place graduates of medical schools in residencies for 2024, 70 of the unfilled positions in family medicine out of 75 in all of Canada, were in Quebec, although 458 candidates were matched in the province, about four per cent more than last year.

Meanwhile, the process for new doctors finishing their residencies to obtain permits stipulating where in Quebec they can practice has also wrapped up, with a high proportion of vacancies. Of 591 Plans régionaux d’effectifs médicaux authorized in 2024, 180 had no takers after the initial rounds of interviews and selections.

Health Ministry spokesperson Marie-Claude Lacasse said more PREMs could still be awarded in a second wave of applications. But as of April 22, 116 of the 479 PREMs for “new billers,” or residents on the cusp of becoming full-fledged physicians, were still up for grabs.

It’s creating a crisis within a crisis in Quebec’s beleaguered health-care system: As more and more family doctors are retiring, the next generation of young physicians are shunning family medicine — even as more residencies and more training places are being made available to them.

Interesting Read…

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