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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Province Helping More Ontario Students Become Doctors at Home in Ontario

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

HAMILTON — The Ontario government is further expanding the number of medical school spots to historic highs while helping Ontario students become doctors in the province, whether they studied at home or abroad. Starting in 2023, the government is investing an additional $33 million over three years to add another 100 undergraduate medical school seats and another 154 postgraduate medical training seats beginning in 2024, both now prioritized for Ontario residents.


“Too many Ontario students are having to go abroad for medical school because they can’t find residency spots here in their home province while international students learn here then leave,” said Premier Doug Ford. “That’s why we’re expanding the number of undergraduate and graduate medical school spots and putting qualified Ontario students at the front of the line. We’re training the next generation of Ontario doctors right here in Ontario to stay here and care for Ontario communities.”

The new investment in Budget 2023 builds on the expansion of 160 undergraduate and 295 postgraduate medical training seats announced last year, the largest expansion of Ontario’s medical school system in over a decade.

“Medical seat expansion in the province’s postsecondary sector is a critical element of our plan to connect people to care close to home,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Expanding postsecondary education opportunities that prioritize Ontarians will make it easier for the homegrown doctors of tomorrow to receive training and provide world-class health care right in their own communities.”

This expansion is part of the government’s Your Health plan, which includes initiatives to hire more health care workers.

“Increasing the number of doctors and other health care workers will make it easier for Ontarians to connect to world class health care right in their own communities,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “We will continue to implement our bold plan to grow our health workforce so Ontarians can continue to receive care closer to home for years to come.”

“By investing in Ontario’s health workforce, our government is connecting people to the care they need where and when they need it,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “Training more doctors here in Ontario is part of our plan to build a strong Ontario that is supporting people today while laying a strong foundation for the future.”

The Ontario government’s 2023 budget, Building a Strong Ontario, is helping to drive economic growth, attract jobs and investments, and build key infrastructure projects faster. The government’s plan is also training skilled workers to fill in-demand jobs, keeping costs down for those that need it the most, and providing better health and public services for Ontario families.


Quick Facts

  • The government is also investing $100.8 million to expand and accelerate the rollout of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education that was announced as part of the 2022 Ontario Budget.

  • 60 per cent of the new postgraduate training seats will be in primary care and 40 per cent will be in specialty care.

  • The new medical expansion will bring the total number of undergraduate seats and postgraduate training seats to 1,212 and 1,637 respectively, by 2028.

  • The province has expanded the Ontario Learn and Stay Grant which provides full, upfront funding for tuition, books and other direct educational costs to students in return for working in the region where they studied for a term of service after graduation. In addition to nursing programs, the grant will now include paramedic and medical laboratory technologist programs in priority communities.

  • To strengthen the health and long-term care workforce, Ontario invested $342 million for 2021-22 to add over 5,000 new and upskilled registered nurses and registered practical nurses as well as 8,000 personal support workers. In addition, Ontario invested $57.6 million for 2022–23 to hire 225 nurse practitioners in the long-term care sector.

  • To learn more about careers in health care, please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/careers-health-care


Quotes

"As one of the world’s top medical schools, McMaster University welcomes the Government of Ontario’s commitment to fund additional medical student spots across the province. McMaster is pleased to continue working with its partners to meet Ontario’s increasing healthcare needs by training more doctors to deliver better patient care."

- David Farrar President, McMaster University

"Communities across Ontario are facing a shortage of doctors, and Queen’s University applauds the government’s investments to create new spaces in the province’s medical schools. Queen’s is pleased to be a partner in training more family physicians and other specialists to help provide the care that Ontarians need."

- Dr. Patrick Deane Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University

"Today’s investment to expand medical education recognizes the importance of the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine as Canada’s top ranked and largest medical school, and the impact our students will continue to have in advancing the health of Ontarians."

- Dr. Trevor Young Dean, Temerty Faculty of Medicine and Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions, University of Toronto

"We are thrilled that the provincial government is expanding Western University’s undergraduate medical education program. Southwestern Ontario is among the fastest growing regions in Canada, and we know that where a physician trains is a strong predictor of where they will practice. With these additional spots, Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry can train more doctors to serve our regional communities. We commend the government for taking this critical step."

- Dr. Alan Shepard President and Vice-Chancellor, Western University

"Toronto Metropolitan University welcomes the Ontario government's investment in the postsecondary sector, particularly in healthcare, to improve access to higher education and address the demand for skilled healthcare professionals. TMU is committed to expanding its medical-related programs and working collaboratively with the government, hospitals, and healthcare organizations to meet the evolving needs of Ontario's healthcare system."

- Mohamed Lachemi President and Vice-Chancellor, Toronto Metropolitan University

"The University of Ottawa is pleased to receive new medical school seats at its Faculty of Medicine and help build strong and sustainable frontline healthcare services across the province, including in rural and northern communities. The University trains over 90 per cent of Ontario’s bilingual health care professionals who are in great demand throughout the province’s healthcare system and provide francophones with critical services when they need them most."

- Jacques Frémont President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ottawa

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