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Ontario College of Family Physicians Calls on Government to Recognize World Family Doctor Day by Taking Action to Support Family Doctors 

May 15, 2024

Compensation For Family Doctors Must Reflect the Complex Care They Provide 

For World Family Doctor Day on May 19, the Ontario College of Family Physicians is sharing new data that reinforces the foundational role of family doctors in our healthcare system, showing that family doctors see more patients in a 24-hour period than any other healthcare service.  

Family doctors are responsible for 139,300 patient visits each day in Ontario – more than the next six most accessed health services combined, such as specialist visits, emergency department visits and X-rays.  

“Family doctors are the foundation of our healthcare system and the care and expertise they provide cannot be replaced,” said Dr. Mekalai Kumanan, President, Ontario College of Family Physicians. “And yet, there is a crisis in family medicine and 2.3 million Ontarians are without a family doctor, with 1 in 4 projected to be without one by 2026.” 

The new data by INSPIRE-Primary Health Care shows the number of visits to a family doctor has remained the same over the last 20 years, despite a 28 per cent growth in population. That’s because system-wide issues, including compensation that hasn’t kept pace with inflation, administrative burden that takes 19 hours a week of a family doctor’s time, and a lack of team support are driving family doctors from providing the kind of care Ontarians expect when they call their doctor.  

“Ontario needs family doctors and family doctors care deeply for patients, but things cannot continue as they are,” said Dr. Kumanan. “The Ontario government can turn this crisis around by recognizing the vital role of family doctors and urgently providing them with the support they need to care for Ontarians.” 

Adding to the challenge, with Ontario’s growing and ageing population experiencing more complex health issues, the workload of a family doctor has increased significantly.   

“Data shows that the number of Ontarians, overall, who have more than one chronic condition is increasing rapidly,” said Dr. Liisa Jaakkimainen, a family doctor and researcher with INSPIRE-PHC. “Also, our population is ageing and more than a quarter of all visits to a family doctor are with a patient who is 65 or older. It requires more of a family doctor’s time to care for these patients.” 

For World Family Doctor Day, the Ontario College of Family Physicians is calling on the Ontario government to recognize the essential role of family doctors, ensure compensation reflects their true value and take further steps to ease the administrative burden. 


About the Ontario College of Family Physicians    

The Ontario College of Family Physicians represents more than 15,000 family doctors who support Ontarians in both urban and rural communities in our province. We support our members by providing evidence-based education and professional development, promoting and recognizing leadership excellence in family medicine, and advocating for the vital role family physicians play in delivering the highest quality care to patients and families across Ontario.  

Media Contact  
Jay Scull 
Manager, Communications, OCFP    

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