Start attracting immigrant doctors to fill shortage

Start attracting immigrant doctors to fill shortage

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Editor:

We are constantly being told there is a severe doctor shortage in this country.

Baby boomers, like myself, are now at the leading edge of when we are going to need a doctor.

The situation can only get worse if action isn’t taken sooner rather than later. It’s apparent that we cannot graduate a sufficient supply of doctors domestically.

Every year, we welcome thousands of immigrants and refugees to our country.

Are there not some doctors amongst them? Why not look for ways of attracting such immigrants to Canada and then provide them with the means to upgrade their credentials to the level required to become a doctor in our country and then point them to the communities that so badly need their services? Governments at all levels: This problem requires more than just money. Take action.

Ron Wiebe

Kamloops

23 COMMENTS

  1. This comes up from time to time from people who really don’t know what they’re asking for.

    Not all foreign doctors have the training and clinical experience that is required to meet Canadian standards. Many do not have the English language skills required to understand the Canadian exams, let alone pass them.

    Yes, many foreign docs have magnificent training and experience. I personally think a doc who was trained and who worked in South Africa has seen and treated more conditions and injuries in a year than many Canadian docs see in a decade. Cuban docs are amazing as well.

    But the issues for attracting foreign docs are many and difficult. If BC isn’t a great place to attract CANADIAN docs, why would immigrant docs move to Canada and come to BC?

    The BC Liberals need to be gone, and the whole thing restructured for docs of ANY nationality to want to come here in droves. If it’s done right, they will.

    PS No doc want to move to a community where the air and water is being threatened by open pit mining. If you have a choice of anywhere in Canada, would you subject your kids to that?

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    • Well, many people have and will continue to move to Kamloops. Our population is going up, and new houses are being consistently built. Many people do choose to live in Kamloops. It has much to offer, with or without a new mine.

      A quick Google search of Kamloops leads to some pretty nice looking summaries of the community and surrounding area. However, if small interest groups continue to spout doom and gloom over a potential new mine in the area, I suppose some outsiders might think that the town is set to be in ruins. Maybe letting the mine review process take its course would be a better way let this matter proceed, without inflicting unnecessary harm to the community through negative propaganda.

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      • “Many people” are not doctors. They don’t have the career mobility doctors do. You have to stick to a topic: doctors, or dirty jobs. You can’t talk about both because not only will we not recruit more docs if the mine opens, we won’t keep some of the ones we already have.

        As they said in Dragnet: “Just the facts, ma’am.”

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    • I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here Ron and JP.
      First off, the doctor shortage in Kamloops and BC is not just a localized problem. It is Canada wide, and also a problem in dozens of other first world country. So don’t blame just the BC government.
      As for bringing in foreign doctors that are qualified to practice here, there is one serious issue with that. In many cases they are denying medical coverage to people in their own country should they leave.
      These doctors have been educated in their own universities at great expense the the taxpayers, and then they are lured away to a foreign country leaving their own country short of doctors.
      What we have to do is train our own doctors in our own universities. .

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      • You can devil’s advocate all you want, but you are quite incorrect. You should actually do your homework before you state things as factual – when clearly they are not.

        Your BELIEF not knowledge that there is a doctor shortage across Canada is simply a belief, and it isn’t true. Please see this article in The Huffington Post – a reputable news source: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/10/10/unemployed-doctors-canada_n_4074976.html

        I have said before – repeatedly, there are lots of docs in BC, and it is the rules imposed by government on how they practise that is affecting how many patients get treated. Here is an article I grabbed at random from Kelowna that speaks to that:

        http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/walk-in-clinics-patient-caps-1.3480377

        A 2015 study in Ontario found that 96% of the population had a personal healthcare provider: http://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/is-our-physician-shortage-over

        You will find out that there are more doctors in Canada now than at any time in our history. The problem is that there are limits placed on how much they can bill, and for what they can bill. There are several problems with that, but among them are the issues that most doctors only work part time to reach the ceiling of their billing caps. Second to that, the fee structures favour specialists so fewer graduating docs remain as family docs, they tend to specialize. Also, new docs who have spent nearly a decade in training prefer to work intensively for a month or two on a contract basis – making many thousands more than by billing – and then take a couple of months off to see the world they have missed while in training.

        If you wanted to invent a health system to create an artificial “doctor shortage” this is it. And Terry Lake knows – or ought to know – that this is the case. He, like others in the provincial health authorities, fear that health costs will skyrocket if they loosen the billing caps. They are so myopic they don’t see that this is the very thing that is killing the budget. But then, the Lakes of the world look at issues from the 4-year election cycle perspective, and it will take more than 4 years to straighten out the mess they have all created.

        So, contrary to your “beliefs”, the facts are quite different. How do I know all of this? I spent many years in the health system … recruiting doctors, among other things.

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    • We could trade with Cuba. We will take their doctors and give them what they need. Guess who would complain first? Dr. Evans writes that private corporations and providers who claim that they can provide health care cheaper than the public system are lying to us. He also is critical of the distortion that an aging population makes public health care unsustainable. Aging, he writes, contributes 0.8 percent per year to the cost while one per cent is due to population growth, which is higher. He notes that the public system is under attack by uncontrolled private expenditures, personal and corporate tax cuts, user fee increases, and a drop in transfer payment that has led to “capping the growth of health spending to three percent [GDP] instead of six percent in the past.” There is something wrong when government revenue from MSP premiums is higher than corporate tax remittances.

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    • Give me a break. I am not necessarily for the mine, but I think if a doctor is thinking of coming to Kamloops and doesn’t his/her decision is not wholly based on the mine. There are many other reasons why he/she might not come to Kamloops. I have lived in Kamloops for years but if I had to do it over again it would not be Kamloops sorry to say. There are a lot of nicer places to go, however my job was here and I would say that it is big part of it. Jobs are what attracts people to Kamloops, and if there are none guess what people don’t come.

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  2. Baby Boomers will have home care aides because of our numbers and lack of places to care for us, the soon to open North Shore Clinic is dedicated to seniors, this is the new healthcare model.

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  3. As someone already suggested we have the schools and we have the bodies…there are no excuses for not training our own doctors.
    Perhaps there are too many “vested interests” to overcome…it would be so useful if local journalists would do a little digging on this (and a plethora of others) issue.

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    • So, you have some magic formula for not growing old do you? We all grow old, we all require help as we age, some more than others. I know of ninety year olds,still living in their homes, still looking after themselves. We do not want your sympathy, we just want proper medical care and assistance in our old age. Perhaps you don’t think we are entitled to receive any kind of care, well I have worked for over thirty years, paid taxes and paid my bills, I have never asked anyone for anything, I sure as hell think I and others like me are not asking too much in return! if we can bring in thousands of people who have never paid a dime towards this country, house them, feed them, give them medical and dental, then we can support our own seniors. If not, there is something very wrong in Canada and I suspect that people like you are part of the problem! If your parents are still alive, I pity them, they cannot expect any help from you obviously! I guess you will just take them out into the woods and leave them there.

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      • Well said Blondie, all of it. Maybe Mr. Binner will find out very fast, in years to come. And you are dead on, if the Trudeau govt. can send millions of dollars overseas to other countries and bring in thousands of immigrants and refugees and pay for all their needs, then maybe they should rethink their strategy to employ people in Canada and work “firstly” with the citizens already here. Why not use those funds to put our Canadians through College and Universities to become doctors or health professionals. There are about 7 countries in the world that do that now. Why should a top level academic student forego medical training, just because they are unable to afford it? Not all wealthy kids want to be doctors, but it is par for the course to be accepted into med school, one must have money. The answer is very simple; the govt. needs to quit wasting taxpayers hard earned money and use it to educate students to become doctors.

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      • Blondie –
        Maybe Bruce feels this way because he sees the example that our gov’mnts all display by having no respect whatsoever for our seniors.
        What ever happened to respecting our elders ?
        Prior generations did it.

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      • It is the reply from someone who obviously thinks that “baby boomers” are somehow responsible for higher taxes, less services etc. He most likely thinks that people such as myself have prevented him from getting a job, buying a house, going to university. Many like him are blaming seniors for living too long, being a burden to society. Take no notice, he will be old and infirm some day, I hope he gets all he deserves!

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        • Well, it certainly wasn’t the younger generation that guided the last 30 years of political representation and policy changes. All the boomers are complaining that they want a golden hospital bed, while the ‘millennials’ are still looking for a decent house at a decent price, a steady job, and a sustainable living wage. We’ve been mopping up the dollars and demanding that the government support only us while a whole generation is struggling behind us.

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          • “All the boomers…? I am not looking for a golden hospital bed! i dread the day I have to go anywhere the place, and as for seniors homes, I would rather sit in my own home and quietly fade away! I have no wish to sit in a chair, watching television, or being urged to participate in crafts, when all I want is to be left alone and have some privacy and some dignity. It is not my fault that many of the younger generation want it all, and they want it now. I do not expect the government to support me for the rest of my life. I do, however, expect them to provide some decent help if and when I need it. As for the generation that is struggling behind us, most of them are clueless anyway, propping up the bars at the week-end, buying fancy vehicles, eating out all the times and generally acting in a very irresponsible manner. If they want to be successful, get educated, get saving and stop feeling sorry themselves. My generation did it, it is not our fault if we have lousy governments either.

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    • Bruce –
      Let me guess…. you’re part of the ‘ENTITLED’ generation ?

      Baby boomers worked hard for things.
      Some people traveled far and left families for long periods in order to find work.
      Some worked more than one job.
      Some worked long hours or shiftwork.
      They didn’t just sit around waiting for their parents to bump off so they could grab everything their parents earned and worked for.
      You and your generation have a great deal to be thankful for.
      And most of your ‘benefits’ were passed down to your generation by past generations that fought for rights, and worked hard to put a roof over your head, food on your table, and clothes on your back.
      Baby boomers have raised their families, are now taking care of their parents, and some are still housing/feeding their grown children and grandchildren.
      They should be commended for all they do/have done.

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  4. This is how the government controls the health care budget – by limiting the number of doctors that are allowed to enter medical school, they can control the amount of money they have to pay them. Unfortunately, as people do not have doctors, they instead opt for the ER or wait until their health is in such bad shape that they then end up in hospital for a much longer duration. It is rather short-sighted on our government’s part as it is well known that preventative medical care is much cheaper than acute and long-term care.

    The government did the same thing with recruitment in the military.

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  5. JP Winston you are absolutely right, the Liberals need to be gone lol and the fake 300 something negatives at your comment are just that, fake. Every once in a while fake numbers appear in this regard. It needs to stop as well. We do need more doctors in Kamloops and the rest of Canada and it is partly due to the fact we aren’t training them. A friend of mine has a son that has graduated from training to be a medical doctor and if they were not well to do people, this would not have happened. It doesn’t sound as if he will stay and practice in B.C. because of the Government and it’s restrictions and the bureaucratic interference, with the medical system in B.C. He has taken training partly in B.C. and Montreal. I think the answer is that the Liberal Government here couldn’t care less about Doctors, Health Care, Seniors, Nurses or any constructive answers to the Health Care System and it’s very obvious, that they would Privatize everything if they could and I do believe if they get re-elected they will start the process!

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