Physician recruitment in full gear as northern Ontario faces shortage of 300 doctors
Communities across the province's northeast have continued recruitment efforts amid Ontario Medical Association reports that northern Ontario is short more than 300 doctors. In Greater Sudbury, Health Sciences North has recruited 36 specialty physicians so far this year. The hospital said it is looking to fill 14 vacancies for roles in a variety of fields, including pathology, surgery and geriatric medicine. The Sudbury hospital has pending offers for five of those positions.
New Brunswick's official opposition took aim at the province's new health plan for the first time since it was unveiled last week.
Opposition leader Roger Melanson specifically targeted the lack of plan for recruitment and retention of health-care workers in New Brunswick.
"A document that talks about principles and guidelines — [it] doesn't give us a real concrete plan for recruitment and retention for our health-care professionals," Melanson said during question period on Tuesday.
The Best Comedy Movies To Watch On Netflix Right Now
You'll be rolling on the floor laughing with some of these comedies.
He said the plan focuses largely on technological improvements but not on the root of the problem in New Brunswick. Melanson argues New Brunswick is not competitive enough against other provinces that are attracting health-care workers, like doctors and nurses, to their region over New Brunswick.
Read more: Greater use of technology is key as New Brunswick releases new five year health plan
"That plan doesn't address that," he said speaking with reporters.
Premier Blaine Higgs, though, said the plan helps address the system as a whole. It wires in the improvements needed to ensure connectivity and access.
The plan was unveiled on Nov. 17 and included many sweeping changes including the New Brunswick Primary Care Network.
COVID-19 live updates: Unlike Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba ready to roll out vaccines for kids 5-11
Updated throughout the day on Monday, Nov. 22. Questions/comments: [email protected] Top updates Quebec will unveil plan to vaccinate kids 5-11 on Tuesday, Legault says Reader mailbag: Why aren’t Quebec health workers eligible for boosters Some Quebec women still struggling with names on vaccine passports PQ demands public inquiry into government’s pandemic response Hospitalizations rise as Quebec reports 692 new cases, 2 deaths Unlike Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba ready to roll out vaccines for kids 5-11 Quebecers 70+ can now book appointments for booster shots Plane carrying COVID-19 vaccine doses for kids touches down in Canada Neglected No More: Hard pandemic
Shephard says starting in early 2022, patients who are registered with Patient Connect NB will be able to schedule an in-person or virtual appointment with a family doctor or nurse practitioner.
Video: Essential care partners require proof of vaccination to enter hospitals and health care centres (Global News)
The priorities include reducing surgical wait times by 50 per cent and wait times for adult high-priority addiction and mental health services by 40 per cent.
A chief focus is use of technology for such things as virtual appointments and self-scheduling for diagnostic tests like blood work and X-rays. Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said much of the current system is outdated, noting that laboratory technicians have to rely on fax machines to transfer information.
“We will explore many new ways to incorporate technology in our health system over the next two years,” Shephard told reporters during a virtual news conference on Nov. 17.
COVID live updates: Quebec parents most hesitant about vaccinating young children, poll suggests
Updated throughout the day on Wednesday, Nov. 24. Questions/comments: [email protected] Top updates Opinion: Outpouring of love for Montreal restaurants turns to disrespect Quebec tourism industry urges Ottawa to drop PCR testing for fully vaxxed travellers to Canada Quebec gave $68M in pandemic loans to companies that didn’t qualify: auditor-general Canada will soon have enough doses for every eligible child to get their first dose Quebec parents most hesitant about vaccinating young children, poll suggests Vaccination begins for young children in Quebec Quebec reports 1 death, 882 new cases – most since early September COVID cases break records in Europe, prom
But when Higgs was asked how a system is sustainable if there aren't enough human resources, Higgs said he understands that argument.
"What is the right level of human resources? I mean I don't have that number. I don't have any predisposed number, and there in lies in the challenge, right," he said.
Read more: COVID-19: N.B. reports 1 death, 75 cases as more outbreaks declared at Moncton hospital
As for other provinces competing for resources, he says it's difficult. Richer provinces, he said, will have an advantage, something he said he has discussed with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
He added it's about ensuring the New Brunswick health-care system is viable for all areas under the Canada Health Act.
Melanson said the plan just lacked a clear definable goal or target.
When asked what his party's plan would look like, he said it would involved a human resources plan.
"I think I would have had a clear path of how many we want to recruit based on what we need, how many we need to recruit based on what's coming, and [an] HR plan and making sure we have the incentives to keep them in the system," he said.
The New Brunswick Nurses Association estimates about 41 per cent of registered nurses are expected to retire in the next few years. Similar numbers are estimated for doctors in the province.
Video: COVID-19: N.B. to begin vaccinating children aged 5-11 on Friday
With inflation pressures rising, Liberals to give budget update on Dec. 14 .
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will deliver the update on Dec. 14, just three days before MPs are scheduled to leave Ottawa for a winter break. Federal finances have taken a beating during the pandemic as the treasury pumps out unprecedented aid. The government predicted the deficit for last fiscal year would be $354.2 billion, and nearly $155 billion this year.Higher oil prices among other economic factors are expected to pad the government's bottom line.