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Need a Family Doctor



In a recent meeting sponsored by the Cummings Centre’s Social Action Committee and Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Dr. Michael Kalin, Dr. Mark Karanofsky and Martine Bouchard, agence de la santé et des services sociaux discussed the subject of the shortage of family doctors in Montreal. Dr. Kalin of Santé Kildare stressed that the shortage of family doctors is not only happening in Montréal but other provinces as well. He cited the previous government’s retirement initiatives for medical professionals which led to mass retirement of doctors and nurses at that time.

Dr. Karanofsky of the Jewish General Hospital pointed out that the complicated process in applying for a doctors’professional permit also leads to the shortage compounded by the restrictions placed on the number of practicing doctors in some parts of the province. While most doctors do get their permits, a number of them eventually practice elsewhere. Some of them even work beyond their clinics/hospitals which limit the time spent in dealing with their regular patients.

However, the situation has improved since Quebec has recognized family physicians as specialists. The Quebec Government has formed group practices for doctors called the family medicine practice (GMF). GMFs are community-based clinics which provide access to a family doctor and other health professionals in a given territory. Both experts stressed that doctors are changing their style of practice. In general, senior doctors worked longer and saw more patients within a day than their younger counterparts. With this shift in practice, the GMF becomes an important model for practice because patients can access a variety of health services by other doctors and specialists.

If you are either over the age of 70 or younger than 70 and have a chronic disease, you will be a priority at your CLSC and they will help you find a doctor. They will check to confirm that you are not yet registered with a family physician. To be placed on this priority list, call the CLSC in your area:

  • CLSC Rene Cassin 514 484-7878, local 1589
  • CLSC NDG 514 484-7878
  • CLSC DDO/Pierrefonds 514 626-2572
  • CLSC St. Laurent 514 748-6381
  • CLSC Cote des Neiges 514 731-8531
  • CLSC Metro 514 934-0354

Be sure to have the following information ready so you can leave a complete message: your name, phone, address, date of birth and medicare card number.

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