Offer clinics, support to family doctors

Re: “Health system needs more than baby steps,” editorial, Oct. 7.

The editorial suggests there is a shortage of GPs because the province doesn’t pay them enough. No doubt some increase is required, but why doesn’t the province provide clinic-type office space and possibly some staff, such as nurse practitioners, to take care of routine checks, so that those who want to practise as GPs can do so without the heavy associated cost?

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Hospitals could have annexes for general-practice clinics, or buildings in densely populated districts could be adapted to hold clinics. These could be different from drop-in clinics, which of course serve a need, but would be geared for GPs who want to establish practices with patients returning to the same doctor via appointment.

I have been told that Saskatchewan has a network of GPs assisted by the province with clinic space in more remote or northerly areas. Extensive recruiting is done, abroad as well as in Canada, with many choosing to stay in Saskatchewan. That province certainly has a shorter orthopedic surgery wait, as well.

It’s expensive, yes, but our tax system can be adjusted if we really want the additional services. You have to pay for what you get, one way or another.

Janet Doyle

Victoria

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