Monthly Archives: November 2015

Shuttle service easing doctor shortage in B.C.

More than 800 people in Ashcroft, B.C. have been without access to a family doctor.

So a new initiative is — pioneered by the Ashcroft Wellness and Health Action Coalition, doctors at the Lillooet Hospital and Interior Health — is shuttling them 100 kilometres away to Lillooet where they can be seen by a resident in the final stages of their coursework under the B.C. Practice Ready Assessment program.

David Durksen, vice-chair of the Ashcroft Wellness and Health Action Coalition, says two of these doctors-in-training will relocate to Ashcroft in February.

“It’s been a lot of work, but this is something that’s never been done before, and we’re quite excited to be piloting this and seeing how we can make it work,” Durksen said.

He admits there are people who believe it’s a “terrible” idea and that he would love to find a solution that didn’t involve patients riding the bus for an hour and 15 minutes each way. But in the meantime, patients can access the service for $10.

Full details and appointment information here. 


H/T CBC News

Lack of doctors for Canadian reservists

The country’s military ombudsman has found that National Defence is reluctant to conduct regular health assessments on reservists because over one-third of them have no family doctor — and if they’re sick it would be the department’s responsibility to care for them.

Gary Walbourne’s latest report shows only four of the military’s 18 field ambulance units, which are responsible for part-time soldiers, are conducting exams, and that the vast majority of them are not properly equipped to carry out the job.

He says the detachments are understaffed and often don’t have access to the military’s central medical database.

The report comes at the same time as questions are being raised about the health of Canadian Rangers who patrol the Far North.

Since reservists are part-time members, the general expectation has been that they are to seek care under their provincial health systems, even though the military requires them to be medically fit to deploy at all times.

Walbourne has outlined several areas of concern, including the social-legal liability for so-called “orphan patients” with no family doctor.

“The Canadian Forces health services group’s legal advisers contend that if a reservist requires followup care as a result of an issue discovered during a (periodic health assessment), the DND/CAF must refer them to a family physician,” said the report. “If the member does not have a doctor, the DND/CAF should assist them in finding a physician, or a clinic, which can provide followup care. If a resource cannot be found, then the DND/CAF is responsible for providing care to the member.”

Continue reading in The Star

H/T The Star / Canadian Press

PEI making changes to rules governing College of Physicians and Surgeons

CanAm perspective: In May 2015, Dr. Victoria Dawson, a bright young Anglo Canadian, US trained Family Physician was denied a medical license in PEI – because she refused to take an English Proficiency Test.

CanAm immediately issued press releases to the Charlottetown Guardian newspaper and the Medical Post decrying PEI’s loss of a talented physician by an absurd decision of the PEI College.

In response PEI’s Minister of Health, Doug Currie announced that the government was going to review the legislation governing the role of the College.


Changes to the rules governing the province’s College of Physicians and Surgeons will help ensure more oversight and allow changes to rules on language tests for doctors with foreign credentials.

Amendments to the Medical Act introduced Tuesday in the legislature will give the minister the ability to appoint someone to make an inquiry into the operation of the college and to make recommendations.

This person would have all the powers and protections of a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act.

Health Minister Doug Currie says this step will allow for increased accountability over the body that licenses and regulates all physicians in Prince Edward Island.

But Currie stressed the college will continue to be solely responsible for licensing doctors going forward.

“This is not about the politicians taking over licensing for physicians in Prince Edward Island, this is about giving the college the ability to address some of their issues.”

Another change will allow the college to waive English proficiency tests for English-speaking doctors who may have studied in a foreign country and want to practice in P.E.I.

Continue reading the full story in The Guardian … 

Cost of merging 10 health districts jumps to $9M

Nova Scotia’s government projected the merger of 10 district health authorities into two health authorities would cost around $6 million, but the actual costs have exceeded $9 million in the fiscal year of 2014-15.

The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union obtained an access to information request that contained the shocking new figure.

PC Leader Jamie Baillie says the Liberals “withheld the real costs of the health merger” and says he believes they are now “cutting real services to pay for it.”

“Either they didn’t know the actual costs of the merger or they tried to hide it. It’s time for the Premier to tell us which it is,” added Baillie.

NDP Health Critic Dave Wilson says the Liberals “were warned it would create turmoil” and lead to unintended costs, and that’s “exactly what happened.”

According to the document, $5.7 million was spent on severance for various executives of the district health authorities and $3.3 million was spent on consolidating all of the IT systems from each district. Close to $900,000 was spent on consultants in mediation and communications.

H/T Global News

JOB POSTING: Family Medicine / GP

Family Physician – Wellpoint Health – Calgary, Alberta

WellPoint Health Ltd. operates the Wellpoint Chaparral medical clinic (located at Suite 2110, 1800 – 194th Ave  SE, Calgary, Alberta T2X 0R3) and the Wellpoint Edmonton Kingsway medical clinic (located at Suite 303, Kingsway Mall, Edmonton, AB, T5G 3A6), and is seeking Full-Time and Part-Time Family physicians to join their team; Physicians also have the opportunity to provide primary care to patients at both clinic locations.

Job Duties:
The physician will be providing primary care to patients of the clinic, including diagnosing and treating medical disorders, interpreting medical tests, prescribing medications, and making referrals to specialist physicians as appropriate.

The terms of employment:
This is a Permanent, Full-Time, Fee-for-Service position.
Physician and the Clinic will share fee-for-service billings, 70% (physician) / 30% (clinic), for overhead expenses. The split increases in favor of the physician based on volume. Wellpoint also a offers negotiable signing bonus, and offers “turnkey” office arrangements with Electronic Medical Records (“EMR”) in place.

Education/Professional Qualifications Required:
Medical degree; the candidates must be eligible for registration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta and Canadian College of Family Physicians (CCFP) certified or eligible. Preference will be given to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents.

Skills Required:
Education and work experience in a medical field profession as a physician with specialist training in Family Medicine; Several years’ experience as a family physician is preferred; Ability to work effectively, independently and in a multi-disciplinary team; effective written and verbal communication skills.

About Wellpoint:

Wellpoint Health has been recognized by Profit 500 as one of the fastest growing businesses in Canada. We are a leading provider of family medicine and health and safety services with 14 locations nationally and provide a full range of workplace services including Medical Assessments, Disability Case Management, Wellness, Prevention and Compliance programs.

In Alberta, Wellpoint is one of the longest standing vendors to be designated as an Occupational Injury Services (OIS) provider by the Workers’ Compensation Board with clinics in Calgary and Edmonton.  Family medicine has always been a significant component of our clinic in Alberta and we are looking for physicians to join our talented team.
Wellpoint has assembled one of the industry’s premier occupational health teams comprised of physicians, nurses, and technicians, in order to deliver consistent, high-quality service directly to over 200,000 patients, and help our clients realize significant savings with respect to employee health, through reductions in lost time and disability claims.

Interested candidates please contact:
Phil Jost, HSM, MBA
CanAm Physician Recruiting Inc.
Toll Free USA/Canada 1-866-446-4447
Office: 902-439-3400

In order to apply for this job you must be an approved registered doctor and logged in.

Most Ontario residents lack timely access to healthcare

CanAm perspective: We find it interesting that the Family Practice model introduced across Canada certainly doesn’t seem to be working. Nova Scotia is seeking to restructure their model and we are not sure where to look or which blended model will work. Perhaps government officials should take the approach of not looking to restrict physicians, and instead look to reward physicians. Otherwise, we predict a significant out-migration of physicians.


According to a recent report on the state of primary care in Ontario, it appears more than half the province’s residents do not have timely access to healthcare.

Survey results from Health Quality Ontario showed that despite 94 per cent of Ontario residents having a primary care provider, just 44 per cent are able to access same- or next-day appointments.

This figures are even lower in rural areas, where only 28 per cent of the population is able to schedule a same-day or next-day appointment with their primary care provider.

According to The Medical Post, Canada’s most populated province ranks “worse than 10 other countries including Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.”

H/T Medical Post

Americans Renounce Citizenship In Record Numbers

Forbes is reporting another spike in the number of people who renounced their U.S. citizenship or terminated long-term U.S. residency, but what’s the reasoning behind it? Many believe it could be the money.

Tax and litigation contributor Robert. W. Wood says “no group is more severely impacted than U.S. persons living abroad” because they must pay taxes where they live as well as file taxes in the U.S. — and U.S. reporting is based on their worldwide income, despite the fact that they’re already paying taxes where they live.

It’s a capital gain if you sold property when you left, and long-term residents giving up a Green Card may be required to pay the exit tax, too. There are also steep fees for handing in your U.S. passport.

H/T via Charles Cullen