Mr. P. B. Rynard (Simcoe East):
Mr. Speaker, in the few brief minutes allowed to me it gives me a great deal of pleasure to speak on this motion introduced by the hon. member for Timmins. One of the things I think I might point out is that the need for beds for tuberculosis patients is becoming less year after year, and we are glad this is true. It is due to better prevention, antibiotics and the use of new drugs which allow some of these people to be treated in their own homes. It is a paradox that we find just the opposite situation in our active treatment hospitals where we are short of surgical beds and medical beds by the thousands. As has been pointed out by the hon. member who has just spoken, we are today seriously short of doctors in this country. Not only are we short of doctors but we are short of nurses and of dentists. Any plan
that would be put into effect would have to take into consideration those problems of shortages.
What is the reason for those shortages? This shortage situation is something that has been going on since early in the 50's. Governments and medical schools have noted it. The situation has progressed until today we have practising in this country some 4,500 doctors who are a gift from the United Kingdom. If we did not have those doctors, I just wonder how we would man our hospitals today, how we would practise medicine and look after the people in this country. That indicates the shortage we have today in the trained personnel required to operate these hospitals and to supply these services that we are asking for in this motion. As the hon. member has stated, it takes some years to graduate a doctor. We now are obliged to wait for those eight years required for training and there is no relief in sight from larger classes. In other words, we must get more students from our schools into our medical faculties. How are we going to do that?
Subtopic: REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF INSURANCE AND DIAGNOSTIC SERVICE BENEFITS