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March 23, 2020

Dear Premier Ford and Minister Elliot:

Today, I am asking you to eliminate the barriers faced by foreign-trained doctors to practice in

Ontario so they can help us in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Every year up to 2,000 foreign-trained doctors apply, but only 200 are given hospital residencies in Ontario. What a waste of talent; talent we need right now to fight this pandemic.

These International Medical Graduates can help us on the front lines of this battle if you allow them.

The World Bank notes that Italy, which is being devasted by the Covid-19 pandemic, has 4.1 doctors per 1,000 people, while Canada has only 2.4 doctors per 1,000 people. I understand that Ontario has 2.3 doctors per 1,000 people. We need help.

I believe you should take this opportunity to move as quickly as possible to flatten the curve, but we should also increase our capacity.

I would like you to consider eliminating or reducing some of the barriers;

  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.

I believe Ontarians 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 I know has at least one story of taking a taxi in Toronto and meeting a foreign-trained professional as their driver.

I believe Canadians will suffer because our system has blocked these doctors from practicing. According to the Association of International Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario 7,000 foreign-trained doc-tors have been denied the right to practice medicine in this province. Will Ontarians now pay the price with a shortage of doctors to help us in this emergency?

I urge you to employ the skills that these foreign-trained doctors brought with them to Canada.

We need more doctors now. We are in a state of emergency and it’s finally time to put foreign-trained doctors, who qualify, to work to help keep us healthy and save lives.

I want to thank all of our health care professionals and first responders who are on the frontlines fighting this pandemic. Without them, we would be in a desperate situation. Let’s get them the additional help they need.

Thank you for your consideration.


Charmaine Williams

City Councillor, City of Brampton










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