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Solutions for Today:
Ensuring Every Ontarian Has Access to a Family Physician

By 2025, one-in-five Ontarians may not have a family doctor. However, the impact of the rising number of unattached patients is already being felt today. We are seeing overflowing emergency rooms, hearing from concerned health professionals and Ontarians and watching the rising cost of healthcare.

A multipronged approach is needed to ensure that every Ontarian can have timely access to a family doctor, particularly populations facing disproportionate challenges accessing primary care. The government’s commitments to opening more family medicine residency training spots and streamlining licensing for internationally trained physicians are welcome steps, but more is needed now. With dedicated funding and appropriate accountability, we can build a more equitable and efficient healthcare system.

While it takes time to educate and license new doctors, the solutions we are proposing here can be implemented immediately. Ontarians will see results within the next two years.

These solutions help today and contribute to a more sustainable future.

The Ontario College of Family Physicians is advancing the following solutions:

Enable family physicians to take on more patients, and to see them faster, by: Adding primary care team members who can immediately support a broad range of patient needs.

Enable family physicians to take on more patients, and to see them faster, by: Increasing the time that family physicians spend on direct patient care by improving the efficiency of clinical and administrative work.

Ensure more Ontarians have access to family doctors by fast tracking foreign-trained doctors to practice in Ontario and increasing family medicine residency spots.

Ensure Ontarians in the North, rural areas and others in the most under-served populations have equitable access to family physicians by improving chronic and critical physician shortages in these areas.

Build on our current primary care models to better fit today’s population needs.

By implementing these solutions, Ontario will become a world leader in primary care by:

  • Ensuring that every patient has timely access to a family doctor.
  • Ensuring physicians have the capacity to see their patients.
  • Retaining family doctors in comprehensive office-based care.
  • Improving the ability for foreign trained doctors and new medical students to practice comprehensive office-based care, particularly in under-served areas and populations.