More/Better Care for All, in Canada
According to a recent study by the Canadian Institute of Health Information, the number of physicians in Canada continues to increase, outpacing the growth of the general population. Yet, Statistics Canada reports that over 4.5 million Canadians do not have a regular doctor. For example, 18% in Alberta, 18.6% in Saskatchewan and 25% of Québecers do not have a family physician.
The more rural areas there are in a province, the fewer the number of physicians. 92% of doctors practice in urban areas. A contributing factor is the increasing work-life balance demanded by our new crop of graduating physicians. Senior and retiring physicians work more hours and see more people than our new generation. Result: we need even more doctors.
While some provinces like PEI have programs that are successful in attracting foreign trained physicians, some have taken a different approach. Forcing or incentivising doctors to work in rural areas has become part of the new landscape. Increasing immigration of foreign trained doctors seems like a positive step, but have they really looked at all the solutions?
CMA reports that 62% of physicians licenced in 1 province, found that the overall complexity of the process to obtain a license was a significant obstacle to practicing in another jurisdiction. 91% of physicians support the implementation of national licensure that would enable them to practice in all Canadian jurisdictions.
With our rapidly aging society, our rapidly growing pool of technology experts, digital health and Artificial Intelligence is sure to alleviate some of the burden.
By removing provincial barriers and permitting national medical licencing, telemedicine, self-examination with technology and automation can service 100% of our population, regardless of location. Medications can be ePrescribed (PrescribeIT), delivered and inserted into your medication adherence device, remotely monitored with AI and feedback provided in real time to patients and physicians. Nurse practitioners, pharmacists, nurses and doctors all working in synergy to maximize health benefits to the majority of Canadians.
Imagine, a doctor servicing twice as many patients with telemedicine with reduced wait time, transport costs or risk. Isn’t this an Eco-friendly possibility?
With our new political landscape, how about a shout out to our politicians – Help us promote this new industry, born out of need and knowledge, with enormous export potential. What a nice reality.
-  Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) https://www.cihi.ca/en/physicians-in-canada, September 26, 2019
-  Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Canadian physicians support national licensure and increased use of technology to improve health care access, https://www.cma.ca/canadian-physicians-support-national-licensure-and-increased-use-technology-improve-health-care, October 29, 2019