“We must eliminate the gaps in Northern Ontario health human resources in order to achieve equitable and sustainable access to quality health care.”
Dr. Sarah Newbery
Assistant Dean, Physician Workforce Strategy
The health and wellbeing of Northern Ontarians depends on having timely access to physicians and other healthcare providers, to meet the diverse needs of the people.
In November of 2020, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine launched The NOSM Challenge 2025, its third strategic plan. The plan’s first Strategic Direction is to Transform Health Human Resource Planning.
To link health human resources (HHR) to Northern Ontario’s needs (Francophone, Indigenous, rural, and urban) with a focus on specialist and subspecialist physician training.
NOSM’s transformative approach to the planning and delivery of workforce supply eliminates the gaps in Northern Ontario health human resources.
What do we know about where our grads have gone?
As we continue to move forward with NOSM’s physician workforce strategy it is important for us to know where NOSM’s learners have gone. We will embark on a process that will see this data update in the autumn of each year. The data below reflects data as of October 2020.
In broad strokes, the data to date shows that:
What do we know about our current needs?
As of January 2021, based on data gathered from community and hospital level recruiters, we know that we need at least 313 physicians across Northern Ontario.
This data is imperfect as there are challenges about whether current funding allocations meaningfully reflect the need of the population, so we need to understand that these are minimum numbers, and they are current need. The data does not include any forecasting information like anticipated retirements, nor the likely need to replace some experienced physicians with large practices with more than one new physician in order to safely and effectively manage the practice population.
Importantly the current need also reflects only clinical service requirements and do not include the expectations of participation in teaching or other scholarly work.
So, understanding the caveats above, we know that, as of January 2021, we currently need a minimum of 313 full-time equivalent physicians across Northern Ontario.