Ontario has 800,000 “unattached” patients: What does that mean?


There are 800,000 people in Ontario without a family doctor. It’s a hard number for many people to wrap their heads around. What exactly do 800,000 people look like?

To put it plainly, 800,000 patients could fill the Rogers Centre to capacity almost 15 times, and still have people waiting in line outside.

That’s a lot of people.

Those without a family doctor in Ontario – also called unattached patients – represent more than 6% of the population. It’s important to note that this number doesn’t include children under the age of 16. So, in reality, the number could be much higher than 800,000.

Under the imposed government cuts to health care, many Family Health Teams are not allowed to add new physicians, and doctors will be limited in terms of the number of patients they can see and the number of services they can provide. On top of this, the government is making it harder for physicians to provide care on weekends or holidays for urgent medical problems.

The cuts will only make it harder for both unattached patients and new patients entering the system to find a family doctor and get the care they need.

We know that Ontarians understand the value of quality health care services. That is why we are asking you to send the government a message that their cuts to health care are not acceptable. It is our families, friends and neighbours who make up the 800,000 unattached patients in the province. Tell the government to put their health care before its budget.

Posted on March 13, 2015 in blog

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