Opinion: Equity needed in Quebec’s distribution of family doctors

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Logically, one would think that most new doctors would be allocated to areas with the highest demand, but it seems that’s not what happens when bureaucrats and politicians are running the show.


(Mark Roper/ The Montreal Gazette) — Every year the government releases its figures for family doctors. The latest figures date from Dec. 31, 2020, and show very uneven access to primary care.

Province-wide, 79 per cent of Quebecers were registered with a family doctor, far from the government’s target of 85 per cent. This means 1,864,223 people are without a family doctor. At the estimated rate of one doctor per 1,500 patients, it would take another 1,242 full time family doctors to register 100 per cent of the population.

There are huge differences between regions, however. Odds of having a family doctor are very good if you live in one of the five large regions of Quebec that have surpassed the 85-per-cent benchmark set by the government. Saguenay—Lac-St-Jean leads the way at 92 per cent. (…)

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