Calling International Doctors - Canada's Thriving Healthcare Industry
Canada has seen a population surge of over five million people while adding just 167 medical residencies over the same period with an imbalance that has made it increasingly difficult for many Canadians to secure regular access to a family doctor.
Over 6.5 million Canadians do not have regular access to a family doctor, reflecting the ramifications of population growth and minted access to family doctors.
Immigration of Healthcare Professionals to Rectify the Situation, both federal and provincial/territorial governments are pursuing strategies to address the scarcity of family doctors. The increased immigration of qualified healthcare professionals is one approach being undertaken to alleviate the situation by bolstering the healthcare workforce.
Challenges Faced by International Medical Graduates (IMGs)
The path to practicing medicine in Canada remains challenging for foreign nationals trained as doctors in other countries, commonly known as International Medical Graduates (IMGs). Restrictions on the number of IMGs eligible for medical residencies and a residency system favoring graduates from local medical schools have compounded the difficulties faced by IMGs.
Efforts to Address Barriers Faced by IMGs
To lessen the obstacles encountered by IMGs, Canada is investing in foreign credential recognition and working to improve the recognition of international credentials for healthcare professionals. The Canadian government has pledged up to $86 million in funding to 15 organizations across Canada, aimed at enhancing foreign credential recognition for approximately 6600 internationally educated health professionals.
Factors Contributing to the Shortage of Family Doctors
Apart from the population surge, various factors have contributed to the shortage of family doctors in Canada. Declining interest in family medicine among Canadian medical graduates and minimal growth in medical residencies have both exacerbated the problem.
Provincial Commitments to Expand Medical Training
Provinces like Ontario, Prince Edward Island (PEI), and British Columbia (BC) are taking proactive measures to bridge the gap by adding more postgraduate medical training spaces over the next few years. Ontario has committed to an addition of 449 postgraduate medical training spaces over the next five years, while PEI plans to open a new medical school in 2025.
Furthermore, BC's Simon Fraser University will establish a new medical school in 2026 at its Surrey campus to address the growing demand for healthcare professionals.
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1. Is Indian MD valid in Canada?
Indian medical graduates will now be able to practice medicine in foreign countries, as the National Medical Commission (NMC) received the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) recognition status for a duration of 10 years. The announcement was made by the Union Health Ministry through a press release
2. Why is there a shortage of doctors in Canada?
It all comes down to supply and demand. For decades, provincial governments have tried to lower healthcare costs by limiting the supply of doctors. That involves limiting the number of medical school students and capping the number of postgraduate medical apprenticeships, known as residencies.
3. Are Indian doctors in demand in Canada?
Canada's healthcare sector is experiencing a demand for skilled medical professionals, creating ample job opportunities for Indian doctors.
4. What percentage of Canadian doctors are immigrants?
Robert Falconer: According to the 2016 Census, which is the last time we had a full scope of the entire labor market field in this area, about 20 percent of the total number of physicians in Canada are immigrants. That means about 28,000 people here in Canada are immigrant physicians
5. Is it easy for doctors to immigrate to Canada?
There are several immigration options for foreign-trained Physicians. The fastest way to secure permanent residence status as a physician is to immigrate through Canada's Express Entry system.