We know Ontario’s family doctors are highly intelligent, caring practitioners. They study for years to gain the knowledge and expertise that allow us to put our lives trustfully into their hands when we get sick.
By the same token, the CEOs of our largest corporations are knowledgeable, skilled business people, entrusted with public and private funds to run complex organizations that keep our economy and our lives running smoothly and (in most cases) profitably.
Would you ask your Bank President to diagnose your health issues? Of course not.
But with recent initiatives in primary health care, what we are asking doctors in Ontario (and other provinces) to do is to govern and manage large organizations to deliver programs and services in a new model of primary health care delivery.
Doctors don’t get business training when they go to medical school. They don’t get training in governance, human resource management, or finance. Yet they are being expected to preside over Family Health Teams, to establish collaborative health care practices, to hire, supervise and fire employees, to meet legislative and regulatory requirements for corporations, and to undertake and manage performance monitoring and measurement.
If these new initiatives in inter-professional, collaborative primary health care are going to succeed, the Ministry needs to assess and invest in the infrastructure, systems, training and support that physicians need.