The number of family doctors seeing patients outside Quebec’s medicare system reached 200 this year.
That’s a 200 percent increase from 2007, when 65 general practitioners were operating outside Medicare.
“There’s a lot more doctors working in the system, with not that many more resources, so the frustration really stems from the fact that people want to care for more patients but they’re not able to do so,” Dr. Joseph Dahine, the President of Quebec's Federation of Medical Residents said.
He added that the provincial government should invest in the public system if it wants to help resolve the problem.
“I encourage doctors who are frustrated in the public system to fight to try and improve access to care, not give up and leave ship,” Dr. Paul Saba, the President of the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice said.
He said financial benefits and working conditions are also obvious reasons why GPs decide to leave.
Dr. Dahine said they had no indications that new doctors are leaving the public sector.
“By no means are they coming up to us, asking us, do you have any tips on how to set up my own private clinic,” he said.