Much has been made of potential doctor shortages resulting from the no-holds barred death match between the Ontario Medical Association and Health Minister Deb Matthews.
It is notable that last year Dr. Sacha Bhatia, the former health advisor to Premier Dalton McGuinty, wrote an essay published on longwoods.com last year that discussed the problems young physicians will soon have finding work.
Bhatia notes a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada study that reports graduates in 13 specialities in Canada were having difficulty finding jobs, and another study published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery that found 34 per cent of cardiac surgery graduates were underemployed.
“There are several factors affecting demand for physicians,” writes Bhatia. “Hospital budget constraints mean less capacity for physicians to operate in. Technology changes, expanded scopes of practice of non-physician specialties, and improvements in efficiency also mean fewer physicians are required to do the same volume of work.”
Bhatia states that these efficiencies should be offset by increased demand resulting from an aging medically complex population.