Thursday, November 25, 2004

Canadian Patients Urged to Go to U.S. For Treatment

Thu, November 25, 2004
Patients told to go to U.S.
CAN GET MEDICAL TESTS QUICKER
By ANTONELLA ARTUSO, QUEEN'S PARK BUREAU CHIEF

WINDSOR DOCTOR Albert Schumacher believes it's his ethical and moral responsibility to tell patients they can cross the border for faster tests. The president of the Canadian Medical Association said the country's doctors have no choice when waiting times get unhealthy for their patients.
"Right now physicians scramble to get their patients the treatment they need," Schumacher said.
"Getting it in a timely way is virtually impossible."
In a speech to the Toronto Board of Trade yesterday, Schumacher said the shortage of health professionals and the inability to access timely care for patients is undermining confidence in the system.
"There is a perfect storm brewing in terms of health human resources and it threatens to wipe out any and all efforts to make the system work better," he said.
He accused governments of dragging their feet.
Sixty percent of family doctors here have limited or closed their doors to new patients while the U.S. and Britain recruit Canadian physicians.
Provinces such as Alberta and B.C. have become increasingly attractive to Ontario doctors seeking better compensation and working conditions, Schumacher said.