June 22nd, 2024

New report confirms doctor shortage remains critical


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on April 23, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Alberta has lost 188 registered doctors in the last three months and Lethbridge is down 13 in that same time period, according to a new report.
And NDP MLA for Lethbridge West Shannon Phillips is not impressed.
“This is unacceptable,” Phillips said Friday in a Zoom meeting in which she attacked the provincial government for what she calls a war on doctors.
With the Alberta health care system already in turmoil, Phillips said the UCP “is hell bent on throwing it into further chaos.”
The Physician Resources in Alberta quarterly report by the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta shows at the end of March Alberta had 10,965 physicians registered.
“This figure reflects a decrease of 188 from the last quarter and an increase of 99 from the same period in 2021,” says the report available online at cpsa.ca
During the first quarter of this year, there was a decrease of 99 noted on the general register with the provincial register showing a decrease of 89.
The general register contains names of all physicians and osteopaths who are responsible and accountable for their medical practise without supervision by another physician or the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. The provincial register contains names of physicians and osteopaths who don’t meet the criteria for the general register but are in a process that once completed will qualify for it.
The report says while there was an inflow of 129 physicians in the first quarter there was an overall outflow of 317.
The report shows in the last quarter Alberta had a net loss of 140 male doctors and 55 females.
For the period of Jan 1 to March 31, Lethbridge lost 13 doctors. In the past year, the South Zone has lost a total of 31.
In total the South Zone has 62 fewer doctors than it did in 2019, Phillips said.
Phillips called the number of physicians the province has lost “staggering” and pointed out 43,000 Lethbridge residents are without one.
She said the UCP is driving doctors out of the province “making it harder for families to access the care they need.”
The declining doctor numbers “show that a bad situation is growing worse with every passing month under the UCP. 43,000 residents cannot find a family doctor (in Lethbridge) and the pool of doctors is only getting smaller. There are no family medicine clinics accepting new patients, there are no walk-in options,” she said.
Minister of Health Jason Copping has “tried to spin” the situation by saying more doctors are coming to the province and that the the UCP plans are working, according to Phillips.
“Yesterday he had the audacity to stand in the legislature and gloat about hiring a couple of new doctors for Lethbridge with a handful more in process. They will even try to say that’s the problem being solved but they aren’t even making up for what’s being lost in the past three months alone,” said Phillips.
“Doctors who speak up for public health care, who have very serious concerns about COVID-19, serious concerns about surgical backlogs, about emergency wait times are ridiculed by government staffers and cabinet ministers.”
She said the UCP fired Verna Yiu from her position as CEO of Alberta Health Services to clear a path to American-style health care “where those with the deepest pockets get front of the line service and everyone else suffers.”
She said 20 hospitals have closed entirely or partially in Alberta. In the community of Hardisty the emergency room has been closed for more than a year, she said.
“The UCP must stop throwing the health system into further chaos. We need a real strategy to recruit doctors from across Canada and all over the world and to train doctors right here in Alberta. We need a government focused on solutions,” said Phillips.
Phillips said an NDP government would do better.
“We respect public care and those who work in it. We will restore with doctors, we will put forward a real strategy to recruit doctors and other health care professionals to this province. We will build new hospitals where they are needed, we will take major steps to prevent emergency room closures and we will bring forward measures to properly address the mental health care crisis in our province,” added Phillips.

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JustObserving

Another screed from Shannon which is telling as much for its ommisions as its content. SO all fault rests with the UCP and, if she is to be believed , this is a unique Alberta problem caused soley by their conduct.
Well….the CBC [BC,] not known for their avid support of the UCP today published a very interesting news story detailing that over 1 million BC residents are w/o primary medical care through family Doctors. The litany of woes is considerable. Thats right…BC…that NDP bastion to the west of us actually has problems as a result of having followed the NDP playbook and measures espoused by Shannon. Could it be the NDP do NOT have all the answers and that perhaps the roots of this problem run deeper than the UCP in Alberta ?

Before you drink the NDP Kool-aid on this, do a little research and assess some of the information you will never hear from th NDP and then make up your mind on who is being straight with you.

Now I’ll sit back and wait to hear how the CBC is a bunch of right wing nut bars ….should be fun to watch the NDP eat their own.

pursuit diver

This is all part of the plan for the UCP to force private healthcare on us all! Create a deficit that can only be filled by bringing in private healthcare. We are already seeing shortages in public healthcare because many healthcare professionals are not working for the private organizations. Clinics, diagnostics, private surgical facilities are only the start that will see EMS and hospitals privatized as well!
Warning: To date, hundreds of US private hospitals of gone into bankruptcy, shutting down due to COVID taking away their ‘revenue’ from surgeries and other medical procedures!
For those that travel to the US and have ended up in hospital, stating how great the care was, think – you have travel insurance! What about those that live there and can’t afford paying for healthcare insurance and when they are in medical distress are drive by hospitals that only take those that have insurance to one that is one of the last remaining ‘public’ hospitals that accept those people!
Do you really want this US style healthcare?
This practise by governments is not usually employed in countries like Canada, creating a crisis to force the need for drastic action. This is what this government is doing!
I am not a big fan of the NDP after they destroyed our city and it’s reputation by opening the Safe Consumption Site, killing many downtown small business, but I am also not a big fan of privatizing our healthcare system! EMS services have been devastated, our clinics in this city, on many cases are operated by out of province or country organizations already as our ability to access healthcare continues to diminish! Many now have to go to the ER for basic needs such as anti-biotics or other non-emerg healthcare issues, tying up trauma trained healthcare professionals!

Last edited 2 years ago by pursuit diver