Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Have mass immigration and women caused Canada's health care crisis?

Macleans magazine published an article investigating the roots of Canada's current health care crisis. You can read the article here. A key finding of the article is that the high concentration of females in the health care sector is throwing fire on the existent shortage in the health care professions. It found that women doctors experience burn out sooner and more frequently than men; that they leave the profession at earlier ages than men (due to child rearing responsibilities) ; and that the current crop of doctors - which almost half are women - work less hours than previous cohorts. This seems to be true based on observation alone. If you go to a hospital look around and see how many female doctors are working that are over the age of fifty. I met a female nursing student once who told me that you will hardly see a nurse over the age of fifty.

If this is the case then is it not in the publics best interest to restrict the admission of females to medical schools? If females are going to leave the health care sector at earlier ages than men then why should we invest so much time and resources on one individual when another would be a much sounder long term investment? The Macleans article goes to point out that the health care crisis is going to get worse because females are making up almost half of the student body at some Canadian medical schools and in some cases constitute the majority. Why should we allow this when it is obviously not in societies best interests? Is it not justifiable to discriminate in this case based on gender because the greater good is served at the expense of a few individuals?

I read a later Macleans magazine, in a doctors office no less, where readers responses to the article were published. In very Canadian fashion these readers opted to reply that there is no problem, that everything is fine, as opposed to realizing that there may very well be a problem with an influx of females into the health care professions. To realize that would compel one to address the problem and work out a solution. Canadians, like ostriches, like to hide their heads in the sand and hope the problem solves itself. We also don't want to think that maybe men and women are different after all (no apologies to feminists and other like thinkers).

But more to the purpose of this blog I want to bring attention to the more likely contributor to Canada's doctor shortage: mass immigration. This has never been discussed anywhere to my knowledge even though it has put the health of many Canadians at jeopardy by increasing wait times for medical procedures and by flooding the waiting rooms of doctor's offices and hospital ERs with new patients. The introduction of masses of people into Canadian society without a proportional increase in health care professionals to care for these people is a major factor - if not main factor - contributing to the doctor shortage in this country. Many Canadians cannot find a family doctor because of mass immigration. Many Canadians have to go to the United States for medical treatment because of mass immigration. And immigrants are given full health care coverage on landing. How is mass immigration bankrupting Canada's health care system?

Some argue that mass retirements of baby boomer doctors is the major reason. If it is then why are we making the situation worse by importing masses of people?

Some say that there wouldn't be a problem if Canada recognized the foreign credentials of immigrants. It is not that simple. The main problem with this is that in order for us to satisfy our needs we will have to poach the developing world of its much needed skilled labour. Another problem is that foreign credentials might not be up to par compared to Canadian standards. This could mean life or death for Canadians via a misdiagnoses or malpractice.

A study of the impact mass immigration has had on Canada's health care system is long over due but I don't think one will ever be done. We need to maintain the myth that mass immigration is beneficial to Canada and Canadians. If it is discovered that mass immigration has jeopardized the health of Canadians and is contributing to its bankruptcy Canadians might demand reform and we couldn't have that. Besides, the Liberal party needs votes and Liberal MPs have the wherewithal to go abroad to get proper medical care if expediency is necessary. The average Canadian on the other hand, well, get in line.

UPDATE: I just read this in the Toronto Star.

Although women have made up nearly 60 per cent of Ontario law school graduates in recent years, a series of law society studies has found they've been twice as likely as men to give up private practice because of difficulties juggling work and child care.

It has nothing to do with immigration but it is related to female professionals. Just food for thought.


Andrew White said...

A Stats Canada study shows doctor visits were higher for non-European immigrants versus the Cdn-born.


Diabetes rates are highest in areas that have lower income levels, higher unemployment rates, higher proportion of visible minorities and higher immigration rates.

Visible minorities, including people of South and East Asian, Afro-Caribbean and Hispanic descent, have a greater disposition to diabetes than persons of European descent.

Anonymous said...

This is old news, but boy it takes balls to state the obvious.

PaxCanadiana said...


Thanks for the info. I didn't know that.


If by old news you mean to say that I am repeating myself then yeah. I am going to do that often just to drive home some important points that need to be made and to introduce these points to any new reader.

But thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

If men helped out at home more often then women doctors could spend more time helping patients.

As for nurses, good luck getting more men to enter that profession.

PaxCanadiana said...

Does that include breast feeding them as well?

What about maternity leave? What are those patients supposed to do for the six months or so?

Your reply is too simplistic and expected from someone who doesn't want to consider the fact that too many women in the health care professions is causing a problem.

So my advice to you is to keep your head in the sand anon like a good Canadian should.

Anonymous said...

No, it's not simplistic nor is anyone's head in the sand. Your comments that there are too many female doctors is silly and untrue. The health care nursing profession has always been overwhelmingly female yet nobody complained nor was care compromised. The only reason for the complaints with the female doctors is that they make more money and have a higher status. It's funny but when a profession that is very important and needed such as nursing is of lower rank and is lower paying but also mostly female, that's ok, but when women get into a job of higher rank, then suddenly there are "problems". There are plenty of female doctors in other countries and they don't cause any problems. A lot of women want female doctors. If you have a problem with them, go to a man.

PaxCanadiana said...

Are trying to tell me that there isn't a nursing shortage as well because to my understanding that is the case.

Do you also think there should be affirmative action requirements in regards to male enrollment at nursing schools? Do you think we should be encouraging male enrollment at nursing schools they way females are courted to professional schools? I do.

Why don't you read the Maclean's article before you respond and then read the Toronto Star article concerning female lawyers. Both claim that females in both professions leave practice at earlier ages. This seems to be the trend. Now females leaving legal practice isn't a problem since there are too many lawyers to begin with but with doctors it is a problem.

To say that it is about status is absolutely stupid and such a comment is a red herring that I am not going to bother to address.

Women doctors wouldn't be a problem if they didn't leave practice earlier or burn out earlier. It also wouldn't be a problem if there were not so many of them. It would also help if men had the babies but nature is sexist like that.

As for female doctors in other countries we have to ask ourselves to what proportion are they to male doctors. We also have to ask how many doctors are there per capita. To simply say that there are female doctors in other countries as if to say that there is no problem is silly in the absence of any other data.

I hope you have a family doctor because millions of Canadians don't. And if you don't then good luck. For the sake of "equal rights" fantasies many must suffer inadequate medical attention just so that a handful of women can glorify themselves with a medical career similar to the ones they admired on prime time TV. I'm mot saying the there shouldn't be any female doctors but I do believe, now anyways, that there should be a quota.

Anonymous said...

So now whites are responsible for a nonwhites health ! God almighty. I lost my father, aunt uncle, mom has cancer and so does my sister in saint john, a city that is filled with pollution and chemicals and not alot of doctors. My sister went through a very hard time as the health care there is poor. I had to move because the economy is poor there due to all the govt cares about is bringing in more and more people and spending billions on immigration when there is hardly an y work. Not many nurses are being hired only on a casual basis because the top people make hoards of money- that is all thanks to the liberal party of ontario........