Ford government to add more than 450 new seats to Ontario medical schools

Posted on March 16, 2022 in Health Delivery System

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March 15, 2022.   Abby Neufeld

Premier Doug Ford announced Tuesday the addition of more than 450 new postsecondary positions across all six of Ontario’s medical schools.

Ford was joined by Health Minister Christine Elliott and Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop in Brampton for the announcement.

The new seats will be broken down into 160 undergraduate seats and 295 postgraduate seats.

“With this investment, we’re supporting more students to take the path to become a doctor and creating the family doctors and specialists that will take care of us in the years to come,” Ford said while speaking to reporters. “And we’re bringing these opportunities to our growing cities like Brampton, where there’s so much talent and strong desire for people to give back to their communities.”

The Ontario government says this marks the largest expansion of undergraduate and postgraduate education in over a decade.

The expanded positions will be allocated as such:

The move comes as the province recruits more workers into the health-care sector — in part, as a solution to a significant backlog of medical procedures in Ontario created by the pandemic.

A report from the Ontario Medical Association published last month included analysis revealing a backlog of more than one million surgeries in Ontario at the end of last year.

On top of that, the group says the pandemic has created a backlog of more than 21 million patient services, such as MRIs and cancer screenings, that may take years to clear.

These figures don’t account for procedures cancelled during Ontario’s Omicron wave of COVID-19 and people who needed services but didn’t engage with the health system during the pandemic.

At Tuesday’s announcement, Ford highlighted his government’s latest promise to add 5,000 new nurses to Ontario’s workforce, as well as 1,000 more personal support workers.

Earlier this month, the Ford government also announced it would give eligible nurses a $5,000 retention bonus in an effort to incentivize them to stay on the job.

With files from The Canadian Press.

Earlier this month, the Ford government also announced it would give eligible nurses a $5,000 retention bonus in an effort to incentivize them to stay on the job.

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