Albertans hit by family doctor shortage

By Darcy Ropchan

Valentine’s Day is here, and many Albertans are in need of a new family physician.

It’s no surprise to any Albertan that there’s a shortage of family doctors. Searching through Alberta Health Services, one can find clinic near their home accepting new patients, but wait times for your ‘doctor date’ — to make sure you’re a ‘right fit’ — are about two months.

Alberta’s opposition highlighted this week, that a woman from Edmonton was dropped from her family doctor because that physician had too many patients.

The woman was dropped through a lottery system.

“They basically put my name in a hat and if you’re name was drawn you’re SOL and you have no family doctor. That’s not lottery I wanted to win,” said Mona Koch.

CityNews reached out to the health ministry for comment, to which they responded, they can’t control what a doctor does with a private practice. But add the province is working to bring in more family physicians through higher compensation and rate increases.

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