Ontario doctors recommend focus on improving health-care access in the north

THE CANADIAN PRESS

A group representing Ontario doctors is recommending incentives for physicians and medical students, better internet connectivity, and culturally appropriate care to improve health-care services in the province’s north.

The Ontario Medical Association made the recommendations today in a report titled Prescription for Northern Ontario.

The report also recommends a focus on addiction and mental-health issues in the north, ensuring patients have access to care in their own communities, and collaborating with Indigenous Services Canada and Health Canada on health resources in Indigenous communities.

It says the northern region’s wide geography, weather and infrastructure issues like unreliable internet create barriers to care.

The group says the need for more doctors and addressing long wait times emerged as top priorities during consultations this year.

The northern recommendations are part of a larger report the association is set to release later this week that will provide advice on how to improve province’s health-care system.