Doctor calls for more provincial funding for staff

Family physicians need more support from other health-care and office professionals to cope with a growing shortage of doctors in Ontario, Dr. Kellie Scott of St. Thomas says, as well as modernized electronic systems for referring patients to specialists and other health care services.

She’s been practising in St. Thomas for 17 years, explaining she chose the area because she’d done some placements here while a student, and found the local medical community very welcoming. “It was a great place to practise.”

Addressing the growing shortage of physicians locally and around the province, she said, “Everyone who wants to have a family doctor should have one.”

The Ontario College of Family Physicians estimates that 7,000 residents of St. Thomas and Elgin are without a doctor, up by 500 from 2020.

Of those, an estimated 750 suffered from mental illness and 360 live with diabetes.

“We have calls every day, or people stopping in,” hoping to become her patients, she lamented. “We have to say no.”

See the full story in the May 3 edition of The Aylmer Express.