The Conservative government’s inaction leads many Canadians to the ER





FEBRUARY 3, 2014

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, that does not mean anything to the more than half of Canadians who cannot get a same day or next day appointment with their family doctor.

That is way behind the international standard. Even the best performing province is behind the U.S., which is second last on the list.

Because of this poor performance, 50% of Canadians are ending up in emergency rooms for cases that could have been treated by a family doctor.

When will the government act on this and work with the provinces to give all Canadians access to family doctors?

Hon. Rona Ambrose (Minister of Health, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, beating up on the provinces is not the answer.  The answer is to work closely with them to make sure we support them in the areas that we are able to. I am sure the member knows that according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s most recent reports, in 2012 we saw the highest level of physicians per capita in Canadian history.  We are no longer seeing the brain drain on medical professionals to the U.S. We are seeing people return to Canada, which is a positive thing. 

We will continue to work with the provinces to ensure that we do have enough physicians available to Canadians from coast to coast to coast.