Family medicine anesthesia: sustaining an essential service.
The Chiefs of Staff of 80 of the 88 hospitals in Ontario communities with fewer than 100 total acute care beds, in responding to a survey, reported a total of 33 155 general anesthetic procedures per year at 60 hospitals, for an average of 553 per hospital yearly. Only six hospitals had a local FRCP anesthetist. Fifty-eight hospitals relied on GP anesthetists to provide anesthesia services. Twenty-nine hospitals (36.3%) reported a shortage of anesthetists now, while 39 hospitals (48.8%) predicted a shortage in 5 years.