THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Thunder Bay Atikokan MPP Judith Monteith-Farrell says, “Consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments have cut health care rather than provide a solution to this worsening problem. We cannot allow this to continue. That’s why I am presenting my plan to end the doctor shortage in Northwestern Ontario. It’s a solution to provide health care for families that need it now. No one in our communities should live without a family doctor to keep them healthy, and no one should ever face locked ER doors when they’re in crisis.”
Monteith-Farrell’s motion to end the physician shortage in Northwestern Ontario goes to debate at the legislature Tuesday night.
“People are waiting weeks and weeks for a doctor’s appointment. Or they’re driving hours to see a doctor. The Northwest is facing a severe physician shortage that is getting worse and is even putting the emergency departments in our region’s hospitals at risk of temporary closures, like what happened at Red Lake,” adds Monteith-Farrell.
The MPP says that “An estimated 300 additional physicians are required to meet the current shortage in Northern Ontario, and this figure does not take into account possible retirements or doctors leaving the region. After the temporary closure of Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital’s emergency department due to a shortage of doctors, Dr. Sarah Van Der Loo, chief of staff at Atikokan General Hospital and chair of the Northwest Regional Chief of Staff Council said that every small hospital in the Northwest could also see its emergency room temporarily closed due to the dire shortage of physicians.”
“We need to start moving on solutions to our physician shortage. I have spoken to many doctors and other health care professionals in Thunder Bay-Atikokan. They say we need more training, recruitment, and retention. All of these are included in my motion to end the doctor shortage in Northwestern Ontario and provide people with the health care they need now,” said Monteith-Farrell.
Monteith-Farrell’s motion calls on the Ford government to take additional steps to end the physician shortage so that the residents of Northwestern Ontario get the support they need to access health care.