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The Big Wait

Four years in the making, The Big Wait tells a true story of patients and doctors on a parallel journey in today’s changing medical landscape: while millions of Canadians wait to get a family doctor, many foreign trained physicians wait to fulfill their dreams of practising medicine in Canada.

As backdrop for The Big Wait, Co-directors Jari Osborne and Joanne Jackson of Brilliant Red Media chose the Northern Ontario community of Midland-Penetanguishene, a small town that is desperately trying to recruit physicians. At the same time, three internationally trained doctors are trying to get licensed to practice medicine in their new country.

“The rural Canadian experience portrayed in The Big Wait reflects obstacles facing many foreign trained professionals and the impact they have on important services such as health care” says Madeline Ziniak, National Vice President of OMNI Television. “The issues raised by this documentary are cause for concern, not just for recent immigrants, but for all Canadians.”

The Big Wait follows the three doctors over a period of four years as they work their way through the re-education and accreditation process. For one of them, this means moving to the US where getting a medical residency proved to be an easier process. For the other two it means long hours of study and time away from family and friends.

“I thank Dr. Sara Chhetry from Nepal, Dr. Chander Gupta from India and Dr. Mohamed Meghji, originally from Kenya, for allowing us into their lives to share the journey,” says Producer and Co-director, Joanne Jackson. “Their stories and outcomes resonate and replicate the experience of thousands of foreign trained professionals and their families. Thank you OMNI Television for recognizing the importance of this story for foreign trained professionals and the loss of their skill and expertise for our healthcare system. “

The origins of The Big Wait are rooted in Joanne Jackson’s personal experience with the doctor shortage inCanada..After her mother’s doctor retired, obtaining consistent health care became a challenge. Disappointment and frustration fueled the human journey, which became The Big Wait

The Big Wait was exclusively funded through OMNI’s Independent Producers Initiative, a $32.5 million independent production fund that to date has supported over 400 new documentary programmes. Interested producers can access funding criteria at OMNI Television’s web site www.OMNItv.ca.

The Big Wait (Punjabi)

Many foreign trained physicians wait to fulfill their dreams of practicing medicine in Canada. The Big Wait follows 3 doctors over a period of 4 years as they work their way through the re-education and accreditation process.

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