May 19, 2024
The government’s strategy is not only discouraging young doctors to get into family practice at a time when they are most needed, Kalin said it is doing patients a disservice.

‘McMedicine’ fuels Quebec’s family doctor crisis

Instead of boosting GP ranks, the Legault government’s health reforms have undermined family practice and made the profession less and less attractive

During his 2022 re-election campaign, Premier François Legault levelled with Quebecers when he admitted that the government could no longer promise everyone a family doctor.

It was a rare moment of political honesty, if a risky strategic move. The writing had been on the wall for years, though few leaders dared admit it. As the ranks of aging physicians depleted due to retirement, medical students turned their backs on family medicine in increasing numbers. More and more patients found themselves searching for an elusive new general practitioner — or enduring long waits in emergency rooms to deal with acute health issues because they had nowhere else to turn.

What Legault did promise on that sunny September day was “one-stop shopping” for access through new web and telephone portals.

Since the Coalition Avenir Québec won a second mandate, Health Minister Christian Dubé has undertaken seismic reforms to health care that he vowed would “shake” the system. Gradually, some of those changes are starting to take shape.

But the remedies the Legault government has prescribed have weakened one of the already crumbling pillars of health care: family medicine. Instead of finding ways to fill the ranks of missing general practitioners by loosening restrictions and improving conditions, Quebec is changing the way family doctors practise in ways that are ultimately making the profession less attractive.

In the bleak assessment of one physician: “Family medicine as we teach it, as I wanted to practise it, no longer exists in Quebec.”

Interesting Read…

See Also:

PQ remains in front as Québec solidaire takes a six-point hit in new poll

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