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Healthc Policy. 2011 Nov;7(2):14-22.

The Sorcerer's Apprentices.


Riding concerns about physician shortages, Canadian medical schools have expanded their annual enrolment by 80% over the last 13 years. Including rapid growth in net immigration, the annual "crop" has nearly doubled. (Population has grown by about 14%.) The physician workforce is just now showing the impact - a 6% increase in physicians per capita in the last three years. In the last decade, medical expenditure per physician has also risen, by nearly 35% above general inflation. The drivers are rapidly increasing diagnostic testing and imaging, and the growth of alternative payment programs. More doctors, combined with growing expenditure per doctor, will have serious cost implications. What benefits are we buying?


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