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Niagara Falls
Friday, June 14, 2024
Letter: Not enough money for family doctors and physician assistants
Letter to the editor. File

Dear editor:

In The Lake Report on May 16, physician assistant student Lara Fluri (“Physician assistant would enhance health care in NOTL,” letter) tells us that her profession could help solve the family doctor shortage in Ontario.

She suggests that physician assistants could be half-funded by the Ontario government with the other half obviously funded by the the family doctor or health clinic that would hire them.

However, under the “small business model,” with payments for rent or municipal taxes, supplies, secretaries, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, even psychiatric social worker, there isn’t much left to pay the family doctor.

Yes, we are graduating more medical doctors in Ontario as Progressive Conservative Health Minister Sylvia Jones asserts.

More than 650 graduated from the University of Toronto last year but Ontario’s populace is now over 15 million. In my final year, 1957, we had 148 graduates and the province’s population was about 5.3 million.

However, the percentage of family doctors is way down because they have been overworked and underpaid for decades.

As Matt Gurney in a May 9 TVO opinion piece asserts: “For the love of God, give family doctors more money.”

By the way, at the Niagara North Family Health Team clinic in Virgil (beside Simpson’s Pharmacy), the sign still says, “Doctors accepting new patients.”

Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone, ret.

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