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Family doctor leaving his practice in Carp, citing high financial and admin demands


As millions of people across Ontario struggle to get access to a family doctor, another physician in the Ottawa area is leaving his practice for a hospital job.

Dr. Ramsey Hijazi has been a family physician for a decade and joined the West Carleton Medical Centre in Carp about three years ago, but he says it’s becoming too challenging to keep up with the financial and administrative demands of running a practice.

Dr. Hijazi is saying goodbye to 1,500 patients.

"Family medicine has really become a family business. Revenue has remained stagnant for decades and costs have continued to rise," he said.

"Clinics lose money every year. More and more money."

After a decade in family medicine, Dr. Hijazi says he’s taken a pay cut to keep up with the rising costs of running the clinic.

On top of that, he’s spending his evenings and weekends doing paperwork.

"The average family doctor spends 19 hours a week doing paperwork," he said.

The province is currently grappling with a doctor shortage.

Currently, 2.3 million Ontarians are without a family doctor. The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) says that could double in two years.

In Ottawa, there’s 171 family doctors needed, according to the OMA.

"We are definitely going to see more of this as we move forward unless something is done quickly in terms of stabilizing the current system and helping the doctors on the ground," said Dr. David Barber, chair of the OMA's General and Family Practice section.

Dr. Hijazi says leaving his practice was a very difficult decision.

For now, other doctors will help care for his patients until a replacement is found, but staff hope to fill his role before he leaves in April. Top Stories

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