CITY COUNCILLOR WANTS FOREIGN-TRAINED DOCTORS DRAFTED TO BATTLE COVID-19
Brampton City Councillor Charmaine Williams has written an open letter to Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliot saying that thousands of healthcare professionals are barred from joining the fight against Covid-19 because of red tape and artificial barriers.
“Today, I am calling on Premier Ford and Health Minister Elliot to eliminate the barriers faced by for-eign-trained doctors to practice in Ontario, so they can help us in the fight against the Covid-19
Williams noted, “Every year up to 2,000 foreign-trained doctors qualify, but only a few hundred are given hospital residencies. What a waste of talent; talent we need right now to fight this
Citing the most recent statistics from the World Bank and the Canadian Institute for Health Infor-mation , Councillor Williams stated that “Italy has 4.1 doctors per 1,000 people, while Canada has only 2.4 doctors per 1,000 people. We need to move as quickly as possible to flatten the curve, but we should also increase our capacity.”
Williams has started an online petition at MoreDoctorsNow.ca.
Williams says the three main barriers are:
1. the cost of the examination process,
2. the infrequency of the exams, and
3. the lack of hospital residencies made available to foreign-trained doctors who pass the exams.
Foreign-trained doctors are often stuck in jobs that do not match their highly skilled education.
“People tell me they would prefer to have foreign-trained doctors delivering babies, instead of
delivering pizzas. They want them looking at x-rays, not driving for UberX. Everybody has at least one story of taking a taxi in Toronto and meeting a foreign-trained professional as their driver.”
Williams believes Canadians will suffer because the system has blocked these doctors from practic-ing. “Ontario and Canada has thousands of foreign-trained doctors who have been denied the right to practice medicine here. Now Canadians are paying the price with a shortage of doctors to help us in this emergency.”
Now more than ever, we need to employ the skills that these foreign-trained doctors brought with them to Canada. We need more doctors now.
“I know some will say they are not qualified. But in Montreal, Mexico City, or Mumbai the brain, the heart, and the lungs work the same way. If Doctors from these cities pass the same exam process in Canada, they should be recruited to help us battle this pandemic.“
We are in a state of emergency and it’s finally time to put foreign-trained doctors who qualify to work to keep us healthy and save lives.
Williams concluded with an acknowledgment of the sacrifice of first responders. ”I want to thank all of our health care professionals and first responders who are on the frontlines fighting this pandem-ic. Without them we would be in a desperate situation.”
Contact: Cindy-Ann Lewis