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Canada needs more immigrant doctors to support the national healthcare system

Canada needs more immigrant doctors to support the national healthcare system

Amongst a boom of over five million natives in the last ten years, Canada has included only 167 medical residents over the same period, complicating it for many Canadians to access a family doctor regularly. This fact is depicted in a late-January story by CBC News, which also recognized that more than 6.5 million Canadians do not have regular access to a family doctor.


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The growing Canadian population, with multiple factors working against the nationwide accessibility of family doctors, has led to notable consequences for Canadians.

Barriers for Current International Medical Graduates

As per the Government of Canada’s data from December 2022, immigrants account for one out of every four healthcare sector workers in Canada.

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If we further break down according to the profession, immigrants constitute the following percentage of all healthcare workers in Canada:

  • 23% of registered nurses
  • 35% of nurse aides and [those in] related occupations
  • 37% of pharmacists
  • 36% of physicians
  • 39% of dentists
  • 54% of dental technologists and [those in] related occupations

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According to CBC News, foreign doctors, otherwise known as International Medical Graduates (IMGs) – often struggle with obtaining a medical residency in Canada due to low quotas for IMGs. Additionally, they struggle to follow their medical practice in Canada because the authorities running the residency system and medical schools prioritize their graduates.

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According to the president of the CMA, – Dr Kathleen Ross, the issue faced by Canada’s healthcare system emerges as the country needs to produce more home-grown primary care doctors to keep up with the country’s health needs.


While Canada needs foreign-trained doctors to assist its Canadian-born workforce in the healthcare industry, IMGs in Canada face unique obstacles preventing them from practicing.

We hope you found this information helpful. Follow our blogs for the latest updates and informative content on Canadian immigration.


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