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Ontario Training More Doctors as it Builds a More Resilient Health Care System

The Ontario government is expanding medical school education as it continues to build a stronger, more resilient health care system, especially in growing and underserved communities. Ontario is adding 160 undergraduate seats and 295 postgraduate positions over the next five years, the largest expansion of undergraduate and postgraduate education in over 10 years.

“As our province grows, our government has a plan to build a stronger, more resilient health care system,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We’ve already shored up domestic production of critical supplies like PPE and have added thousands more hospital beds. Now, building on our work to recruit and retain nurses and personal support workers, we’re launching the largest expansion of medical education in ten years.”

This expansion will support all six medical schools across Ontario, including the University of Toronto’s new Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health, the Queen’s-Lakeridge Health Campus, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Western University, McMaster University and the University of Ottawa. Medical seats will also be allotted to the new Ryerson School of Medicine in Brampton when it becomes operational.

“Ontario’s health care professionals are some of the finest practitioners in the world and that is a testament to the education they receive through Ontario’s universities and colleges,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “This expansion will increase access to family and specialty physicians and other health care professionals in every corner of the province to ensure that Ontarians can access the health care they need, when they need it, wherever they may live.”

Expanded undergraduate and postgraduate medical school positions will be allocated as follows:

  • Ryerson University will receive 80 undergraduate seats and 95 postgraduate positions
  • University of Toronto will receive 30 undergraduate seats and 45 postgraduate positions
  • Northern Ontario School of Medicine will receive 30 undergraduate seats, and 41 postgraduate positions
  • Queen’s University will receive 20 undergraduate seats and 30 postgraduate positions
  • Western University, McMaster University and University of Ottawa will each receive 28 postgraduate positions.

“Ontario’s doctors are key partners of a strong and sustainable health care system,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Supporting more students to become physicians is a key part of our plan to build up our health care workforce and ensure patients can access the care they need no matter where they live.”

Quick Facts

  • The University of Toronto’s new Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health will also receive funding for enrolment in life sciences and physical therapy programs.
  • To strengthen the health and long-term care workforce, Ontario is investing $342 million, beginning in 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 is investing $57.6 million, beginning in 2022–23, to hire 225 nurse practitioners in the long-term care sector.