EvidenceNetwork.ca By Marcus Hollander and Garey Mazowita
A version of this commentary appeared in the Hill Times, Toronto Star and the Sudbury Star
Recently hundreds of people lined up for hours outside a new medical clinic near Ottawa, all hoping to get a family doctor.
Those people knew intrinsically what research shows: people with family doctors stay healthier and get more appropriate medical care. And, moreover, they cost the health care system less, too — mostly because family doctors help prevent hospitalizations.
Some 4.5 million Canadians are without a family doctor. The reasons for this are many, including the training of too few doctors in the 1990s, more doctors working part time hours, more doctors retiring, and fewer graduating doctors choosing family medicine.