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'Crumbling around us': Family doctor describes Ontario's healthcare situation

Lack of specialists leaving family doctors in difficult position
Screenshot 2022-08-04 164420
Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner and Dr. Courtney Bell discussing Onario's Healthcare System

Dr. Courtney Bell is a family doctor in Guelph. She says that Ontario's healthcare system is in a crisis. Speaking with Green Party Leader, Mike Schreiner, she explained. 

"I will tell you before COVID, I would have described our healthcare system as already breaking," Dr. Bell said. "Throughout COVID, it's now just crumbling around us."

Dr. Bell says that finding a specialist for patients when they need one has proven to be exceptionally difficult. This leaves patients without adequate healthcare, and puts medical professionals in the position of having to spend additional time to try and find support.  

"I have stories on all fronts of any specialist that you might need to see, and how ridiculous the wait times are," said Dr. Bell. "Stories of people going to the [emergency room] and needing to leave, because they just can't wait any longer."

She said that finding mental health support is the most pressing issue that doctors face.

Often, when trying to refer a patient to a specialist, she is told that the patient is not sick enough to be seen. 

She says that this leads to people eventually getting sick enough to the point where it is a crisis, and a specialist will then see them. 

Dr. Bell wants to bring more attention to the situation to ensure that family doctors have the tools necessary to ensure patients get the support they need.

"When you actually are the one who needs the health care, or you are in a medical crisis yourself, is when it smacks you in the face," she said.

"It's smacking me in the face every day."

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