Shortage of family doctors pushing more patients to overburdened ERs, physicians say – CBC

Nearly 5 million Canadians without a family doctor, College of Family Physicians of Canada says

Nov 10, 2022

Michael Tryon is on the hunt for a family doctor.

The Edmonton man learned in June that his family doctor is retiring at the end of November, and Tryon has been searching for a new one for himself, his wife and his son ever since.

“We have been watching for signs on the street … that say ‘New doctor in this practice’ or ‘Taking new patients,’ ” he said, noting they’ve also tried joining Facebook groups to ask if anyone knows any doctors taking new patients.

Tryon and his wife are getting older and he says they don’t want to be left in the lurch.

“We need to find somebody. We need to keep looking,” he said. “[You] don’t want to turn up in an ER unless you’re dying or you’ve got a broken bone or you’ve got something serious.”

Tryon is one of the nearly five million Canadians without a family physician, according to the College of Family Physicians of Canada. And those doctorless patients are turning up in already-stressed emergency rooms across the country with routine concerns and problems.

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