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OMA president tours Southlake, sees impact of 'massive' growth

Dr. Andrew Park said he was 'struck' by the growth in the region and its effects on an already stretched health-care system
Ontario Medical Association president Andrew Park recently visited Southlake Regional Health Centre.

Dr. Andrew Park, president of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), returned to Southlake Regional Health Centre this week to hear insights provided by the hospital's physicians regarding "cracks" in the health-care system.

Following a visit to Newmarket in June 2023 to advocate for fixing the health-care system, Park returned to tour the hospital with Dr. Charmaine van Schaik, chief of staff, Dr. Eddie Chan, president of Southlake’s medical staff association, Dr. David Makary, vice-president, medical affairs, and CEO Arden Krystal, according to a Southlake news release. 

Park also met with Southlake’s medical staff association to discuss the current health-care landscape.

“Providing our physicians an opportunity to meet with Dr. Park and share their personal experiences was important to us,” said Chan. “The insights our physicians offer into the care provided and the health-care landscape was essential to inform the OMA and their advocacy so we can continue to provide leading-edge care.”

“We were thrilled to have Dr. Park visit us at Southlake to discuss health care in northern York Region and Ontario,” said van Schaik. “Having an opportunity to collaborate with the OMA by highlighting Southlake’s successes and challenges directly to Dr. Park ensures Southlake is communicating the needs of our patients, staff and community.”

The visit is part of the OMA’s ongoing advocacy work, connecting with local hospitals and physicians, the hospital stated. 

“I was struck during my visit to Newmarket by the massive growth in the region, which is putting huge demands on an already stretched health-care system,” said Park. “Doctors, including those I met with at Southlake Regional Health Centre, are committed to working with the government and others to fix the cracks in our health-care system that grew wider during the pandemic. The OMA has a detailed plan called the Prescription for Ontario: Doctors’ 5-Point Plan for Better Health Care.”

“As a fellow physician, Dr. Park understands the daily challenges physicians face in a hospital setting and why a new hospital is so critical for our communities,” said Makary. “Through his visits, Dr. Park is enabling Southlake’s physicians to address important issues and provide insight into how to improve access to care for the communities we serve.”