Doctors returning to Canada… but not to Quebec


A new report says the doctor brain drain has reversed; more doctors came to Canada last year than left. However, none of this is helping Quebec, whose ridiculous regulations are driving most medical school graduates to leave the province to start their careers, because there aren’t enough positions in Montreal. Upon graduation, new doctors have a choice: they can go work in the “regions” or accept a 30% pay cut. That leads most of them to take the third choice: go to Ontario or elsewhere for double the pay.

This is a frequent source of frustration among friends currently in med school, many of whom would like to stay here but can’t get jobs in Montreal. This despite the fact that the province has a shortage of hundreds of doctors, and the shortage is actually worse in Montreal than it is in many outlying regions. Anyone who’s tried to find a GP lately can attest to that.

The Quebec government needs to realize that a stick-only approach only works when you can restrict people from leaving; when they have other, better options, you’d better break out the carrots.

In the meantime, if you get sick, you’ll be better off in Alberta or Ontario.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 John Palubiski 08.25.05 at 2:43 PM

Sari, have you and I been reading the same reports?

From what I’ve seen, Québec had a net gain in 2004 of some 48 physicians

Not much, granted, but still better than a net loss of 48

On the other hand, you’re spot-on about all the ridiculous rules and such! Doesn’t help at all, does it?


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