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Canadians having hard time finding family doc

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Canadians are still having trouble finding a family doctor and MDs are getting bogged down with more paperwork.

Almost three-quarters of the 12,000 doctors polled said complex patient problems were taking up their time, but paperwork is consuming most of their time.

But Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull with the Canadian Medical Association says there is good news from the doctors in the survey.  “Physicians are utilizing the electronic medical record more than they would normally have been doing in the past.”

Turnbull adds even though more MDs are retiring, they are willing to work part-time if they can cut back on that paperwork.

In 2010, doctors said 61 per cent of urgent patients were seen within a day, but for non-urgent cases, patients had to wait an average three weeks, or 12 weeks for a specialist.

Experts say the best way to deal with the growing numbers of chronic-care patients is to increase funding for long-term care facilities, home care and caregivers.

The warning comes as negotiations for a new federal-provincial health funding arrangement begin. The current health accord between Ottawa and the provinces and territories expires in 2014.