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  • Clarke Wallace

ARE WE THAT SHORT-SIGHTED?

Several things popped up this week. Like a shortage of masks and clothing worn chiefly by medical staff in Emergency Rooms across Canada.


Here are nurses and doctors dealing with patients who have contacted, or being checked to see if they have Covid-19. The medical staff face such a dilemma with not enough N95 masks, let alone plastic shields and clothing that would protect from catching the disease from these patients.


We’re particularly short of doctors to help deal with the pandemic that is causing us so much trouble worldwide. Surely, I told myself, asking retired doctors to come out of retirement and help out is a little too much.

Mind, there's another source we’ve been neglecting for much too long. There are thousands of foreign-trained doctors in this country, according to CBC’s Sunday Edition, “who have been unable to practice medicine here because of roadblocks to being licensed.


Michael Enright, the host of Sunday Edition told us about Iraqi-born, Ukrainian-trained Ali Mahdi, his three brothers and his father, all doctors, none who have been able to find work in their field in Canada.


Enright started the program by telling us, I’m paraphrasing here, if you need medical attention, hope that you get a taxi to drive you to the hospital. Many of the drivers are doctors that can’t get certification in Canada.


Which seems dumb to me. In the Mahdi family circle there’s radiologist, a surgeon among them. Everyone of them a doctor in the medical field. Yet they can’t practice medicine.


Author’s comment: I picked up the Saturday Globe and Mail to be struck by this headline: Doctor’s COVID-19 help ignored by Ottawa. And the subhead: ‘Canadian who spent years working with Chinese specialists offered to come out of retirement as an adviser but still waits for a reply from Ottawa'. That says it all.

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