Saturday, November 24, 2007

Doctor shortages and Jim Bradley: Then & Now

This story “More positions needed in medical schools says MPP”, (Welland Tribune, Dec.9, 2000):

“Niagara's doctor shortage could be cured if the provincial government added more medical school positions and provided incentives for physicians to relocate to Niagara.
Calling the physician shortage critical, St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley urged the government to graduate more physicians, surgeons and family doctors from its medical schools.
Earlier this year the government increased the number of medical school places, but Bradley says even more need to be created.
"At least once a week I get a call at my constituency office from someone whose doctor is retiring or who is new to the area and can't find a doctor," he says.
The need is pressing, Bradley says, since Niagara has the highest per capita rate of citizens over the age of 55. It is doubly pressing since many doctors are also aging.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that as many as two-thirds of ophthalmologists in the province are 55 or older.
He also wants the government to publicize information such as the average age physicians, specialists and surgeons and the expected number that will be needed in the near future.
"I think it's important to keep reminding the government of this problem." ”

Seven years later, here’s Niagara This Week’s story, "Province has not determined number of docs needed” (Nov.23, 2007) stating that: “Ontario is spending less money and allocating fewer resources than it may seem on programs targeted directly to help find family doctors…Despite assurances by the government that systems are in place to come to grips with the shortage, it admits it doesn’t know yet how many general practitioners will be needed province wide.”

Say what?

Jim Bradley in opposition lectured and urged others to do all kinds of things his own Liberals haven’t done!!

Is it important to keep reminding Jim Bradley of his own advice?

After four years in office, Bradley’s Liberals have no idea themselves how many doctors are needed in Ontario!?

Doesn’t Bradley get calls today, in 2007, like he said he received in 2000, from people who can’t find doctors? Or, have those calls magically vanished now that his Liberals are in power? All is well, right?

‘Needs are pressing’ said Bradley then; 'incentives should be provided’ Bradley said then; 'shortages are critical' Bradley said then; 'information should be publicized', Bradley said then.

But now…?

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