Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Disturbing ‘Why’ Behind a Doctor Shortage In Canada

Posted by M. C. on February 7, 2023

Another bit of evidence is that medical school admissions are a small fraction of applications (about 5%). Ordinary unions are weaker, since they exclude people who are patently qualified to do the job in question. Physicians’ labor unions dismiss them before they can learn the craft.

The same people that create infection rates.

Luis Rivera

By Walter E. Block

There is a doctor shortage on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada. This small community of slightly more than 2200 has no physician available to it; none at all. Nor is medical help available anywhere nearby. There is to be sure the possibility of a 50-minute ferry trip to the mainland, but during the winter this is all too often more theoretical than actual.

But this failure of Canadian socialized medicine is not the real story here. Rather, it is the fact that the authorities in charge refused the offer of a fully qualified clinician from Massachusetts, who offered his services for three months, entirely for free.

Why would any doctor in his right mind make any such offer? Dr. Paul Hart has strong ties to Canada in general, and to Newfoundland in particular, and wanted to “give back” to the Fogo (“fire” in Portuguese) Island community. He originally hailed from Toronto (that’s a big city in the Frozen North), went to Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador. He was struck by the plight of the Fogo-ites. He stated: “It’s my wish to say thank you to the province of Newfoundland for providing me with this phenomenal education and a wonderful medical career,”

Sorry, this nice guy tale still isn’t the story. The real story is that the Canadian government authorities rejected his supererogatory offer. Their excuse? According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, such an offer could only be accepted by doctors in “active practice for at least four months in the last three years” and Dr. Hart, let me repeat that, Doctor Hart, did not qualify since he has been doing telemedicine for two of the last three years. This physician is good enough for the patients in Massachusetts, but patients in Fogo Island must be made of less healthy protoplasm.

The real reason?

The Canadian government engages in restricted entry in behalf of its medical professionals. To be fair, the US authorities would undoubtedly have acted in much the same manner were a similar offer made from outside of its borders (they did exactly that during Katrina in 2005). They are under the thumb of the American Medical Association, the strongest labor union in the US. A similar situation applies in the country to the north of us.

See the rest here

Be seeing you

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