Dr. Arieg Badawi
Ensuring all Ontarians have access to a family doctor is an essential part of health equity. However, across the province there are over 2.2 million people who lack access to primary care. Even more concerning, in some areas of Ontario the most vulnerable, including low-income families, residents of marginalized communities and those with mental health issues are disproportionately without a family physician.
Dr. Arieg Badawi is a passionate family doctor in Milton who believes that the future of healthcare lies in integrated team-based care, which will bridge the gap between patients and the primary care they desperately need.
“If we take someone who has schizophrenia, they come to my clinic, and I see them for 20 minutes, maybe half an hour. The rest of that [care] happens in the community,” says Dr. Badawi of the lack of basic mental health support available to her patients.
By assembling diverse healthcare professionals, including social workers, dietitians and nurse practitioners into a multidisciplinary team, family doctors will have additional time to see patients who need their care. “At the end of the day, it takes a village to raise a child and it is the same for a patient.”
“I’m hoping that the system changes and that we have more family doctors, because every patient deserves one.”
Overall, Dr. Badawi’s plea for reform is to ensure that all Ontarians have equal access to care from a dedicated healthcare provider.