Optimizing Patient Care Through Physician HR Planning

Endoresed in:

April, 2017

Paper Type:

Policy Paper


  • Daegan Sit (McMaster University)
  • Heather Smith (University of Ottawa)
  • Annie Wang (University of Toronto)


The supply and distribution of health professionals in Ontario is critical to meeting the healthcare needs of the province. In the past decade, there has been concern over the state of health human resource planning in Ontario, which has contributed to maldistribution of the physician supply, long patient wait times, and physician unemployment. Despite efforts by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to address this concern, the 2013 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario found that Ontario had still not achieved its overall goal of “having the right number, mix and distribution of health-care professionals”. Access to health care is still a problem for many Ontarians who live in rural and northern areas. Additionally, many specialist physicians trained in Ontario face underemployment and unemployment and may move to other provinces or countries. This issue is increasingly important as Ontario’s population grows and ages.


  • The MOHLTC should use needs-based projections to plan physician service requirements.
  • The results of the needs-based projections should be communicated to medical students and residents in a timely fashion.