Canada Has More Doctors, Making More Money Than Ever

Doctor Who’s Canadian connection

That figure is expected to rise as the country continues to attract foreign-trained doctors and Canadian medical schools churn out record numbers of graduates. Growth in the number of doctors has been highest in rural areas, where complaints about shortages and access to care have historically been most pronounced. In the past five years, the number of physicians working in rural Canada rose five times faster than the national population. Provincially, British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador reported the largest increases in the number of physicians, at 5.1 and 4.6 per cent, respectively. Manitoba was the only province that did not report an increase. Geoff Ballinger, manager of health human resources at CIHI, said the overall numbers make it tempting to shrug off the notion of a doctor shortage in Canada. But that would be premature, he noted. For one thing, the number of physicians in rural Canada in not proportional with the rural population: While 18 per cent of Canadians, or about six million people, live in rural communities, just 8.5 per cent of the countrys 75,142 doctors served those people. That gap may be a reason that the number of Canadians who say they do not have a regular family doctor has stagnated at about 4.4 million in recent years, according to Statistics Canada. Its tempting to suspect the situation is improving . . . but were not seeing a change in those numbers, Mr. Ballinger said.

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Canadian doctors barred from performing ‘virginity tests’

The Montreal Gazette reports the Quebec College of Physicians issued the decree after two University of Montreal ethics specialists were alerted by school staff to separate incidents involving the matter. Imagine a doctor who does a gynecological examination with the sole purpose of … it goes beyond the imagination. And its degrading to women, Charles Bernard, president of the College des medecins, told The Gazette. The Quebec College of Physicians is, among other things, responsible for dispensing ethical guidance on medical issues for its many member physicians. The Gazette writes University of Montreal ethicists were contacted by a clinic nurse after a young woman asked the health professional during a routine medical exam whether, she was still marriageable. But by then, it seems the ethicists were already grappling with the issue. Two weeks prior, the same researchers reportedly fielded a call concerning an adolescent whose family had forced her to undergo a chastity test at a local clinic. The girl subsequently told her school nurse, who then contacted the university. We got the impression that the physician was pressured by the family in the emergency room. The father was very insistent about having the certificate, and to get rid of the problem, the doctor did it, University of Montreal researcher Marie-Eve Bouthillier reportedly said. The Gazette writes Canadian officials have focused on the issue of late, or since the bodies of four women of Afghan descent were discovered in Ontario in 2009. They were reportedly murdered by relatives in so-called honor killings.

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Barnum of the television age, an entirely outlandish figure steering the helm of the stuffy BBC. The take-away for Canadians may be that the Toronto-born Newman was not only a major cultural influencer of British pop culture, but he was also the father of one of the most iconic television series of all time: Doctor Who, which celebrates 50 years of existence this weekend. Google is marking the sci-fi milestone Friday with an inspired Google Doodle that includes an 8-bit style game in which you have to help Doctor Who evade some speedy Daleks. In the U.K., the series is getting a three-day celebration that perhaps overshadows the more sombre commemoration of the 50th anniversary of JFKs assassination. On this side of the pond, Space Channel is devoting three days of programming to the good doctor, including a new 50th-anniversary episode on Saturday, plus Fridays docudrama premiere. We want to do a science fiction series, but no bug-eyed monsters or robots, Newman demands in the movie, looking at the origins of the series. We want history, too. Proper history. The kids at home should learn something. An Adventure in Space and Time, which airs on Space Friday one day before the 50th anniversary of the shows debut in 1963 is a loving, carefully crafted tribute to half a century of the worlds most popular time lord. The period drama recreates the quirky, cheaply shot BBC series that was originally supposed to be a childrens show, but morphed into something much more. It also captures a fascinating time in the BBCs history, where the Canadian was seen as something of a heretic, producing popular programming that didnt mesh with the broadcasters vision of itself. Newmans decisions would alter the BBC forever. That included inadvertently starting the BBCs first merchandising boom way before George Lucas got in the game, where Dalek robot outfits and sonic screwdrivers would become a staple of Halloween for generations. He also promoted his former assistant Verity Lambert to take the reins as the producer, becoming the first female to head up a major series. The old guard is referred to by Lambert as a sea of tweed and sweaty men. And the docudrama shows that the battle for respect is steep in the male-dominated, tradition-bound world that is the BBC.

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