Today I'm going to serve up a piece from the G&M about a new government initiative:
Ontarians will have access to 52 new family health teams to provide primary health care and address the province's shortage of family doctors, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Friday.Sounds like a wonderful plan right? Well in a country where everyone is supposed to get free healthcare why is this necessary?
Mr. McGuinty said the announcement is the first step in the government's plan to set up 150 teams across the province by 2008.
“Ontario families, including thousands who could not find a family doctor, will now have access to doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals who will not only treat them when they're sick, but do more to keep them healthy in the first place,” Mr. McGuinty said in this community near Belleville, Ont.
I highlight this article because many Americans are under the bizarre understanding that all Canadians have access to equal healthcare services. Well according to the Ontario Health Ministry that doesn't seem to be the case:
Health Ministry figures show that about 1.2 million Ontarians in 142 communities do not have access to a family physician.Based on this I'ld like to make two points. First, out of a population of 12 million, 1.2 million do not have access to a family physician. That is just about 10% of the population (based on these figures). This doesn't even take into consideration the fact that having a family physician in no way indicates that you are receiving adequate healthcare services.
The problem is widespread, affecting both rural, remote areas and large city centres such as London, Ont.
As well, one should consider that Ontario is one of the wealthiest provinces in the country. If the wealthiest part of the country can't afford doctors for everyone what state of affairs would we expect in poorer parts of the country?