More doctors from around the world are choosing to practise in Ontario, ensuring that families have access to the high quality health-care they need, closer to home.
HealthForce Ontario Marketing and Recruitment Agency has been helping to boost Ontario’s efforts in recruiting doctors – both foreign-trained and those trained in other provinces or the US – over the past several years and now a record number of international medical graduates (IMGs) are working in Ontario. A majority of these doctors are either treating patients in high-demand specialties, such as internal medicine, psychiatry and emergency medicine, or practising as family doctors.
Now IMGs make up almost 25 per cent of the doctors serving in Ontario. These initiatives, in part, are the reason why 94 per cent of Ontarians now have a family doctor. Having access to a family doctor helps keep pressure off hospital emergency rooms, can improve health outcomes and most importantly, delivers peace of mind to Ontario families.
“I’m thrilled that we have managed to help reverse this trend while at the same time, recruiting and training record numbers of international medical graduates,” said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. “Our ability to attract international talent is a testament to the quality of our province’s health care system.”
“HealthForceOntario provided me with the support and networking opportunities I needed,” said foreign-trained physician Dr. Francesco Mulé, now practising in Northumberland Hills Hospital. “Thanks to them, today I am practising emergency medicine in Ontario.”
In 2009, Ontario gained 174 doctors from another province or country, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Ontario offers 200 training and assessment positions annually for IMGs – more than all other provinces combined. There are currently more than 6,050 IMGs in Ontario, representing almost a quarter of the physician workforce.
To learn more about Ontario’s supports for internationally-educated health professionals, call ServiceOntario INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (toll-free in Ontario).