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Letter: Crisis is because new doctors found more lucrative way than how 'us old docs' practise

Are you struggling to find a family doctor? One local physician details why.
A Coquitlam doctor is speaking up about a shortage of family physicians. iStock photo


I am worried about the patients in our community because of the lack of new family physicians coming into our community.

More and more patients are finding their physicians retiring with no one to replace them. I have been in practice for 42 years. The new graduates simply do not see the point of practising the way us “old docs” have been doing.

It is far more lucrative for them to work as hospitalists or walk-in docs.
Family doctors are more than just health-care providers - we are small business owners who run our clinics. And our clinics need more support to be able to continue providing care, including appropriate funding for staff salaries, lease costs, and supplies.

We also need to modernize how we fund and operate clinics so that family doctors can spend more time with patients.
The growing amount of paperwork for family doctors is taking us away from providing patient care. We need to create healthy working conditions for family doctors, including reducing administrative burdens and providing substitute/locum physicians for when we are away. Supporting family doctors will result in healthier patients and communities.
Almost 900,000 British Columbians do not have a family doctor and that number is growing every day. Our community is losing two family physicians in the next two months - which puts over 2,000 more patients without an FP. I am afraid I may soon be adding to that number.

Dr. Gary Hayes, Coquitlam