Doctor and healthcare shortages are the focus of a council request of the province.  

They’re calling on Queen’s Park to expand capacity at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) to meet the needs of the north. 

Councillor Bill Vrebosch put forward the motion which looks for added doctor and residency positions and clinical teaching funding for NOSM, as it moves to becoming a free-standing university. 

“NOSM is probably our best vehicle to get doctors to train and stay in the north.  I did talk with a couple of doctors that are a part of the training staff, that may be one of the things that may need to be revamped, but it’s very important to get this onto the table,” he says. 

Councillor Mac Bain seconded the motion which states the life expectancy of Northern residents is more than two years lower than the Ontario average, and one person in eight across the region do not have access to a family doctor.

“There is a need for more physicians and healthcare providers in the north,” he says. “This resolution speaks to the need that we need more doctors.” 

The motion also says that NOSM has fewer health care professionals’ spots than the rest of Ontario’s medical schools and it would take at minimum, five NOSM graduating classes at sixty-four physicians per year to address the current shortage.