The Current

The doctor will not see you: Quebec ends annual checkups

Quebec follows other provinces in terminating annual physicals for people over the age of five.
Some studies have shown, while people who go for physicals are healthier, it's not because of the checkup, but because of other lifestyle choices. (CBC)

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Quebec's Health Minister Gaetan Barrette describes annual physical checkups, as "basically useless." His province is doing away with annual physicals for otherwise healthy people, over the age of five. 

As of Wednesday, yearly checkups in Quebec will be replaced by a so-called "periodic exam" for people with chronic illnesses.  

Quebec joins British Columbia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario, in ending coverage for annual physical exams, as a growing body of research questions their usefulness.      

The Current speaks to Dr. Benjamin Burko, who is worried about the impact the policy will have on children, and Dr. Howard-Tripp, who supports the move, arguing annual physical exams do nothing to reduce mortality, and cost the system precious resources. 

  • Dr. Benjamin Burko, is the medical director of the Tiny Tots Medical Centre and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the McGill University Health Centre. 
  • Dr. Michael Howard-Tripp, is a family physician in Saskatoon. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar and Willow Smith