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LETTER: Doctor shortage a national problem

123rf.com photo
123rf.com photo - 123RF Stock Photo

Our doctor shortage is a national crisis, not just a provincial one.

I grew up in Carbonear but reside in Victoria, B.C. My husband and I have been without a doctor for more than a year and have been on a waiting list with 2,000 other frustrated people.

New family doctors are staying away from working solo and instead are joining groups because the cost and responsibilities of running a practice is too much so they are doing things differently.

I understand the pressures that put doctors at a higher risk of physician burnout and depression but at the same time it’s important for our loved ones to get the best medical care they need and deserve.

We need to create medical practices that allow patients to be treated efficiently and for doctors to use their skills more effectively. Some U.S. states are using trained nurse practitioners to take some of the work load.

My daughter is a fourth-year medical student in the U.S. but has hopes of returning to Canada someday to practice medicine. My wish is to fix this broken system so my daughter and other young doctors can help patients and families get the care they need.

Recently my mother from Carbonear took ill and my brother from Nova Scotia and I spent three weeks at the Health Science Centre with other family members to support her.

The doctors and nurses were amazing but obviously overworked. We clearly need to work together in finding a solution. Our lives and the lives of generations to come depend on it.

Sandra Reilly

Victoria, B.C.

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