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Family physicians stopping practice during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, Canada

Kiran T, Green ME, Wu CF, Kopp A, Latifovic L, Frymire E, Moineddin R, Glazier RH. Ann Fam Med. 2022; 20(5):460-3. Epub 2022 Sep 26. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1370/afm.2865


We conducted 2 analyses using administrative data to understand whether more family physicians in Ontario, Canada stopped working during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with previous years. First, we found 3.1% of physicians working in 2019 (n = 385/12,247) reported no billings in the first 6 months of the pandemic; compared with other family physicians, a higher portion were aged 75 years or older (13.0% vs 3.4%, P <0.001), had fee-for-service reimbursement (37.7% vs 24.9%, P <0.001), and had a panel size under 500 patients (40.0% vs 25.8%, P <0.001). Second, a fitted regression line found the absolute increase in the percentage of family physicians stopping work was 0.03% per year from 2010 to 2019 (P = 0.042) but 1.2% between 2019 to 2020 (P <0.001). More research is needed to understand the impact of physicians stopping work on primary care attachment and access to care.

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