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Ontario family doctors facing burnout, shortage to worsen, OMA says

The Ontario Medical Association says a shortage of family doctors in the province is only going to get worse if burnout and growing administrative burdens are not addressed.

They say as of March 2022, there were 2.2 million Ontarians who didn't have a regular family doctor, an increase of 450,000 people in just two years.

The OMA says that a survey of its members suggests that 40 per cent of physicians are considering retiring in the next five years, and burnout was identified as one of the top issues facing the health-care system.

They say the burden on family doctors is especially high, pointing to a new survey from the Ontario College for Family Physicians, which found those doctors are spending on average 19.1 hours per week on administrative tasks such as filling out forms.

The OMA says the province needs to improve communication between digital systems, such as between hospitals and pharmacies, and create a centralized wait list for specialists.

A shortage of family doctors is felt particularly acutely in rural northern Ontario, where the primary care doctors are often also the emergency department doctors and the hospital inpatient doctors.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 31, 2023. Top Stories

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