Fresh Takes

We forget, but Quebec has relatively few doctors

Quebec is getting ready to negotiate with its doctors, while Premier François Legault would like to see their wages fall. Since the government wants to increase access to care (the Health Minister notably wants to allow nurses and pharmacists to do more), I have another suggestion concerning doctors: Do away with admissions quotas for medical students. Quebec, like the rest of Canada, is one of the places with the fewest doctors among rich countries. Including residents, the province had 2.8 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants in 2017. This same figure was 4.1 for Germany and 5.1 for Austria. With these ratios, Quebec would have 11,000 or 20,000 more doctors, respectively! We won’t get there overnight, but the government could give the health care system a real boost by getting rid of med school quotas.

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