Aussie doctor ad creates a stir on CMA's website


An ad enticing doctors to work in Queensland, Australia, is seen across the top of the website for the Canadian Medical Association Journal.


The Canadian Medical Association is coming under criticism for running an ad trying to entice Canadian doctors to move to Australia at the same time it's lobbying in Canada to hire more doctors.



On Jan. 15, 2008, the CMA launched a major campaign to lobby governments for more doctors in Canada.

But now, on its medical journal's website, there is an ad trying to entice Canadian doctors to ply their trade in Queensland, Australia.

Ontario's health minister, George Smitherman, is not amused by the apparent contradiction.

"It's not a tactic that seems to make sense," he told CTV News. "They've been running a very substantial campaign saying that Canada needs more doctors.

"So to be aiding and abetting the international effort to lure our doctors does seem somewhat inconsistent."
CMA paints a scary picture of the doctor shortage in Canada. Some of the highlights from their campaign:

  • About five million Canadians do not have a family physician and that number could double by 2018
  • Canada needs about 26,000 more doctors to match international standards for doctors per population size
  • The average age of Canadian doctors is nearly 50
Belleville, Ont., for example, has a massive doctor shortage and they are paying major cash to entice doctors by paying for their medical school debts.

Jebus, I went into the wrong profession.


But their mayor says the city can compete with Australia or anywhere else for Canadian doctors and cites Canadian patriotism as a primary reason.

"I think being a Canadian student, hopefully most of them are committed to Canada because we are putting them through medical school," Mayor Neil Ellis told CTV News.

But can patriotism compete with the lush beaches, diving at the Great Barrier Reef and Australia's warm weather?

Canada has attractions of its own, and it's no different than Australia when it comes to international doctor recruiting. In Saskatchewan, half of the doctors are foreign-trained. In Ontario, it's 25 per cent.

But, as Smitherman points out, it seems unusual for the Canadian Medical Association to take an advertisement from a competitor.

The CMA doesn't think so. They say they have no ethical problem with running the ad and lobbying Canadian governments for more doctors. The group says doctor recruiting runs all over the world and the Australia ad is no different than a classified ad. The CMA says it won't pull the ad.

Meh, I'm thinking of taking off to Australia anyways. There's not a damn thing here in my profession.
I have to say that, if the CMA is willing to bow to where the money is by advertising for the Aussie recruitment effort, then the notion that the individual docs would be anymore patriotic than them is a bit absurd.
Why should they pull an ad their members may be interested in? Canadian hospitals put the same kinds of ads overseas. Look at the number of foreign trained docs we have. How hypocritical for us to act outraged.

I don't understand why people would expect doctors to stay in Canada if they can do better for themselves elsewhere. I'm obviously a bit biased, but I had this whole conversation with my dad before I left Canada. There was just nothing in BC that could compare to what was offered down here (and I'm not talking about money). I considered Australia and the UK as well but they were too far from home for me. I love Canada but you couldn't pay me enough to tolerate the level of disrespect I got back there whenever contract time came around. The health minister told us all we could work in fast food if we didn't like their offer. Well, I was able to come up with a better alternative and it was the best thing I could have done for myself. Life is too short.
Don't get me wrong, they have every right to use their advertising space as they see fit, and medical staff have a right to go work where they want, but, it smacks of hypocrisy in light of their lobbying efforts. Personally I think that if they were to add a message such as 'So long as the pricks in Canadian health care are telling you to like it or leave....' it would give it some context. lol.
I don't see what it has to do with their lobbying efforts. If anything it helps their lobbying. Their message has been "Canada, you need to make things better for doctors so they will stay!!! They can go elsewhere you know!". The ad proves the point that for some docs Canada just isn't worth it anymore.
[quote=karrie;938880 'So long as the pricks in Canadian health care are telling you to like it or leave....' it would give it some context. lol.[/quote]

Ahhh... someone who truly understands the context of my personal exodus Off topic, but two nurses I worked with in Toronto wound up coming down here after I did and love it too. My orientation group in Toronto was made up of 8 nurses. 5 years later, not one of them is still working in that unit. 4 have left the country (3 to the US and one to the UK). Not a good retention rate, but they'll replace us with nurses from the Philippines, Australia, etc.

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