Tag: health human resources

Changes to temporary foreign worker program have unintended impacts on doctors

Reports of low-skilled Canadian workers being replaced with those from other countries spurred changes earlier this year to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. But they’ve made it harder for areas in need of physicians as well. The system was overhauled this summer after reports that companies were misusing the program, with Canadian workers at RBC and…

From the factory floor to the emergency department: Hospitals explore Lean method

Lean healthcare whiteboard

Can health care learn from assembly lines? Manitoba’s St. Boniface General Hospital thinks so. It’s been using Lean, a system inspired by Toyota, on processes around the institution. Last year, one of its projects was to reduce wait times for CT scans. Staff ran a Rapid Improvement Event, where a team mapped out patient flow and…

Should the public know how much doctors are paid?

The United States began releasing the Medicare payments it made to individual doctors on April 9, a move that sparked sensational headlines and debates about privacy. The data offer insights into the $77 billion paid by Medicare’s fee-for-service program to more than 880,000 health care professionals in 2012. Should Canadian provinces follow the U.S.’s lead and publicly…

Family medicine attracts record number of graduates

Family doctor

Family medicine was a popular choice among medical graduates in the 1980s, when Roger Strasser was training at The University of Western Ontario. “The residents had almost a missionary zeal that they were going to be family doctors,” he says. He shared their passion, becoming a family physician. But when he returned to Canada in 2002, after going back…

Integrating Physician Assistants in Canada

After several decades working in the Canadian military, Physician Assistants (PAs) are being introduced into provincial health care systems. This year, Alberta launched a two-year demonstration project to integrate PAs into selected clinical practices. About a decade ago ago, PAs were introduced in  Manitoba and Ontario. In Ontario, PAs were part of Ontario’s broader health human resources…

Decades of restructuring hurts morale of Alberta’s health care professionals

Effect on health care restructuring on Alberta's health care professionals

This is the second of a two-part series on Alberta’s health care restructuring. This article examines the impact of constant change at the highest levels of administration on those who work within the health care system. Alberta Health Services (AHS) is the largest health care delivery organization in Canada. AHS provides health care to nearly…

Have investments in interprofessional education led to changes in practice?

Interprofessional education

As part of the 2003 Health Accord, the Federal Government made major investments in interprofessional education. This included contributing $28 million dollars to build training centres across Canadian colleges and universities. Investing in interprofessional education was motivated by the belief that changing the way health care professionals work together would be a key part of…

Who will care for Canada’s seniors?

Our health care system faces a disturbing paradox. While seniors represent the fastest growing age group in Canada, the country faces a growing deficiency of specialist physicians with expertise in caring for the elderly. But with seniors accounting for nearly half of all the country’s hospitalizations and visiting their family physician twice as often as younger…

New recommendations for Canadian doctors-in-training focus on fatigue

Resident Duty Hours

After finishing medical school, new doctors go through several years of post-graduate, on-the-job training – known as residency – in order to become licensed to practice independently. Historically, residency has involved very long hours spent in hospital, so that residents see a high volume of diverse cases as well as provide patient care. As part…

Does Ontario have too many doctors?

Underemployed MDs Does Ontario have too many doctors?

A growing number of Canadian doctors are underemployed after finishing their training. There are a number of likely causes, including a lack of infrastructure funding, delayed retirements, and a lack of health human resource planning at the national level. After about two decades of strongly worded public headlines and numerous government reports about doctor shortages,…

Approaches to Improving access to specialists in rural regions: Ontario & Germany

In Ontario, specialists are concentrated in larger cities, and Ontarians living in smaller cities and rural regions have challenges accessing specialist services. In Ontario, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) use non-financial incentives to try to attract specialists to practice in hospitals that serve rural areas, and provide telemedicine and outreach clinics for patients. In contrast,…

How specialty positions are allocated for medical school graduates

CaRMS How Specialty Positions are Allocated for Medical School Graduates

Each year thousands of medical students across Canada apply for, and are matched to, residency positions in a variety of medical specialties.  The allocation of residency training positions among the various specialties is largely decided by academic doctors involved with medical education. Some experts believe that health system decision makers should exert greater influence over…