Pettapiece asks health minister: where are the doctors?

March 24, 2014

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: One of the most common problems I hear about from my constituents is their difficulty in finding a family physician. Last week in the Legislature, the Minister of Health stated that “We now have 5,000 more doctors working in Ontario than just a decade ago,” and that “doctors are going where they’re needed….” Well, Speaker, that’s not the reality of what we see in Perth–Wellington. Many times I have spoken up for my constituents who do not have a family doctor. I have written letters to the Minister of Health, I have raised it in the House and I have met with local doctors, health care professionals and recruiters.

In response to these concerns the minister has painted a rosy picture, listing various programs and ratios of practising physicians to residents. For those who are without a family doctor and have been waiting on the government’s Health Care Connect list for over a year, the minister’s response is of little consolation. Constituents who have been forced to wait in the emergency room to have prescriptions filled or to speak with a physician about a routine issue have told me that there are simply not enough doctors accepting patients to meet our local demand. I wrote to the minister last week, pushing her to come through for my constituents without a family doctor. I look forward to her prompt reply.