Montreal CHSLDs could see shortage of hundreds of doctors by next year

Hundreds of doctors could be missing to care for patients in Montreal CHSLDs by next year.

According to the Montreal Regional Department of General Medicine (DRMG), as of this month, more than 1,000 patients could be looking for a family doctor in the following five sectors:

  • Center-West: 249
  • Center-South: 32
  • East: 341
  • North: 261
  • West: 201

Less than two months ago, the Federation of General Practitioners (FMOQ) and the Montreal DRMG launched an urgent appeal to meet the demand, as they fear the deterioration in the services offered to vulnerable patients, including personalized medical follow-up. The FMOQ launched an appeal to attract other family physicians in the greater metropolitan area of ​​Montreal, Laval, the Laurentians, Lanaudière and Montérégie to temporarily help in CHSLDs in the Montreal region.

Dr Marc-André Amyot, the Président and general director of FMOQ wrote “with the serious shortage of family doctors, the lack of recognition of the practice, the aging of the population and ever-growing needs the situation was predictable.”

In June, the province called on retired physicians in the Greater Montreal area to step up to the plate, citing “a major crisis”.

The Ministry of Health, the Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ) and the FMOQ agreed to allow retired physicians to return to practice under certain conditions.

That those choosing to come back have stopped practising for less than three years. The reason for retirement is not related to a quality issue in the practice of medicine. And that candidates have practical experience relevant to the care of patients in CHSLDs, i.e., long-term care for geriatric patients.

According to FMOQ it is estimated that 30 family doctors are needed to take care of between 25 and 30 beds. Currently, Montreal could see a shortage of up to 400 doctors by next year.

Amyot acknowledges part of the problem is a lack of attractiveness of the practise of long-term care and, more broadly, of family medicine, in the province calling for improvement of work conditions to appeal to those coming to the field and currently practising. 

“Remuneration adapted to the workplace and improved conditions of practice are necessary for the future,” wrote Amyot.

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