Physician Shortage Hits Canada

Vittorio Hernandez

Ottawa, Canada (AHN) – Four million Canadians do not have a regular physician, indicating the acute lack of doctors in the country.

The Canada Community Health Survey of Statistics Canada released Wednesday said 86 percent of those born in Canada or have been in the country for at least 5 years have a regular doctor who oversees their medical needs, while only 65 percent of recent immigrants have one.

The numbers, however, must not alarm Canadians, said Dr. Raisa Deber, professor of health policy at the University of Toronto. “What you really worry about is not having someone able to manage a chronic condition,” she said, underscoring the value of having a medic with a personal knowledge of a patient’s medical history.

The lack of supervised medical care is probably one of the reasons behind the rising obesity rates in Toronto, which the survey said had 10.6 percent adult obese rates for both males and females. But Toronto residents are not the worst since the national obesity rate in 2007 ballooned at 16 percent, while another 32.4 percent were considered overweight, but not obese.

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