It's becoming increasingly difficult to access a family doctor in Quebec: auditor general

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MONTREAL -- From one government to the next, nothing appears to have changed: access to health-care in Quebec has not improved in years. The situation even seems to be worsening. 

This observation was made by auditor general Guylaine Leclerc, who tabled her 2020-21 report at the National Assembly on Thursday. 

The front-line challenge therefore remains unresolved, as it remains difficult to secure a family doctor as well as appointments with them when you have one. 

Over a three-year period, from 2016 to 2019, the government paid $1 billion to family doctors in the form of various incentives to force them to take on more patients. Despite these measures, the wait time on a family doctor’s patient list in increasing – not decreasing. On average, vulnerable people have to wait an entire year to receive care from a family doctor. The maximum waiting period was not supposed to exceed three weeks. 

The number of vulnerable people waiting for a family doctor is also steadily increasing. Over the past three years, it jumped 73 per cent. 

—this report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2020. 

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