Five million Canadians don't have a family doctor, the College of Family Physicians of Canada recently announced.
With burnout among healthcare workers at an all time high, the system must change to address the staffing shortages, Dr. Rose Zacharias told The Sam Laprade Show, hosted by Derick Fage on July 25.
Alleviating the administrative burden should be a priority, she said, adding that for every hour a doctor spends with a patient, they spend around two hours documenting the visit.
"Doctors need to be let to be doctors, and we need to provide support around them," she said. "When we do that, we're going to experience some alleviation of the pressure that we're experiencing inside the system."
The Ontario Medical Association is also looking at increasing spots for medical students and providing more opportunities for junior doctors to train under more senior doctors. She said that reducing the barriers for international doctors to work in Canada is also important.
Zacharias said it can be alarming to hear anecdotal stories about people being unable to find a family physician, but they must look at the data to find an effective solution.
"We need to look at the evidence throughout the entire province and be very strategic about how to influence a systems change in order to improve the health care provider shortage that we're experiencing," she said.
Listen to the full interview with Dr. Rose Zacharias below: