Every child gets a spot in the education system. Can Canada’s health care system do the same for people and primary care?

Canada is struggling with an acute shortage of family doctors, and the situation is about to grow more dire in Ontario, according to a new article in The Globe and Mail drawing on recent research from the Public Policy Forum.

Quoting a survey by the Ontario College of Family Physicians, more than half the 1,300 Ontario family doctors polled are “preparing to leave the profession or reduce hours in the next five years.” The article and survey attribute this exodus to overwhelming loads of unnecessary administrative work and lack of support.

The Globe story highlights PPF’s latest Taking Back Health Care report, titled Primary Care for Everyone. That report outlines urgent “must-dos” in order fix the health care crisis.

One of the key modernization imperatives outlined in the Taking Back Health Care report is that every Canadian should have access to a primary care team within 30 minutes of their home – in the same way that public school is available to every child.

Among the urgent action items on the Primary Care for Everyone list is to free up more time for patient care by cutting the administrative workload of clinicians.

“To increase the time available for patient care and reduce provider burnout, measures must be taken to cut red tape, streamline and automate processes (electronic and paper) and have non-clinicians take on as much administration as possible,” the report says.