Essay on Shortage of Physicians In Canada

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Introduction to the Issue
By 2056 it is expected one in four Canadians will be 65 years or older, compared to 13 per cent currently. This will put a huge strain on the country’s health care system (Macleans, 2008 p.2). The future of Canada’s health care system is at great risk due to its aging population. This is triggering a shortage of physicians, particularly anesthesiologists, in some provinces of Canada (Canadian Medicine Journal, 2007). Anesthesiologists are specialist physicians who provide critical care to patients in a number of health programs: operative anesthesia for patients in all surgical subspecialties, acute pain management, procedural anesthesia, obstetrical care, and high-risk medical management, chronic pain
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In Ontario, on average patients wait for 158 to a high of 311 days for surgeries (Health Council of Canada, 2007). To further exacerbate the situation, since 2001 the wait-times for surgery has increased by approximately 50%. Furthermore, on average cancer patients who are suffering with chronic pain wait one to two years for an appointment to see an anesthesiologist for specialized pain treatments (BCAA, 2006). Explain the connection between wait times for surgery and the shortage of anesthesiologists more clearly. The government is not taking enough action to eliminate the issue of long wait times for surgeries; the Supreme Court of Canada says: “access to a waiting list is not access to health care” (CBC, 2006).
Waste of Taxpayers’ Dollars
Since many Canadians do not have access to anesthesiologists which causes waste of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Approximately five million Canadians do not have access health care professionals, or they often face long waits to see specialists (Ouellet, Doig, & Fritz et al., Health Care Transformation in Canada, 2010). Unavailability of anesthesiologists and resources is costing Canadian's money without delivering care. Dartmouth Atlas Project (2010) reported that in the last five years alone, the difficulty of recruitment and retention of anesthesiologists has reduced productivity by 5.3% costing taxpayers over $100 million annually. Each year, BC taxpayers
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