While health care is a dynamic service characterized by the continual introduction of new drugs and medical devices, physicians remain at the centre of health-care delivery. It is therefore worth noting that Canada lags well behind almost all developed countries in the availability of physician services.
Specifically, Canada ranks 29th out of 33 high-income countries for the number of practising physicians relative to the population. Unless physicians in Canada are much more productive than physicians in other high-income countries, the data suggest that Canada suffers from a relative scarcity of physician services.
Steven Globerman is the Kaiser Professor of International Business and Director of the Center for International Business at Western Washington University, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute, and co-author of the study Physician Supply in Canada: Projections and Assessment, published by the Fraser Institute.