Doctors staging lie-in in Ottawa today

Gurneys in hospital hallways are bad enough, but now sick beds are parked outside near Parliament Hill to dramatize Canada's doctor shortage.

For two hours during this morning’s commute, hospital gurneys complete with purported patients were placed in seven key spots in Ottawa’s downtown not far from Parliament Hill.

Sponsored by the Canadian Medical Association and activated by Ottawa-based Knock on Wood Communications + Events, the guerrilla effort was aimed at dramatizing the dearth of family doctors in Canada, where the CMA says almost five million citizens lack access to medical care.

From their ‘sick beds,’ actors posing as patients handed out flyers stating that this country would need an immediate influx of 26,000 physicians just to match average doctor-to-population levels of the UK, the US and Australia, and that the average age of Canadian MDs is 50, suggesting that upcoming retirements will worsen the situation.