Ontario training but not retaining docs: Auditor's report

By Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief




This might sting.

Ontario is spending $780,000 on average to train medical specialists, yet one-third with surgical specialties leave to practice in other jurisdictions.

The annual Ontario auditor general’s report highlighted this issue Tuesday.

“Not every graduating specialist who leaves Ontario does so because of employment difficulties,” the report says. “The size and breadth of Ontario postgraduate training programs may attract trainees from jurisdictions where these programs are not offered, and some may complete residency training in Ontario and return to their home province afterward.

“However, others may leave Ontario because they have difficulty finding stable employment after graduation.”

Cardiac surgeons are working as surgical assistants because they can’t find jobs, and orthopedic surgeons were competing for operating room time even as the wait list for forefoot surgery hits 326 days.

The auditor said the Ontario government needs to do a better job of ensuring the increasing numbers of doctors and nurses end up where they’re actually needed.

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