Your article (“Adding nurse practitioner first step in solving doctor shortage,” The Lake Report, July 28) states that, “Canada boasts one of the better medical doctor-to-patient ratios in the world.”
To be useful and meaningful, we should compare ourselves to similar countries: developed democracies such as those that are also in the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
When we look at the OECD, Canada ranks 27th out of the 33 countries reporting data.
In Ontario alone, we would need to add over 7,500 doctors (on top of the 45,000 currently licensed) just to reach the OECD average.
This cannot be fairly described as one of the better ratios and shows a major reason why we are facing the current health care situation.
Similarly, Canada ranks 30th for the number of hospital beds and 18th for nurses, adjusted for population.
In order to solve our health care problems, we need to start with realistic assessments of where we stand so that we can consider real solutions and not be diverted by suggestions that won’t work because they don’t tackle the real problem.
Dr. Atul Kapur