I live in Toronto [Canada] and we're in the middle of a family doctor [GP/FM] shortage here too. Seems too many doctors became specialists and researchers.
Are there any Nurse Practitioners in your area? If yes, they can also give you a referral. You could also try writing your M.P. about [because of the doctor shortage] having to endure a jerk for a doctor.
Canada has socialized medicine which means that everyone is entitled to health care such as free doctor office visits, free acute hospital care, etc. Unless you live in a remote, rural and therefore under-serviced area, this means that you also have your choice of physician. [Most doctors in Canada, just like in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, practice in major urban areas.]
Although medicare is mandated by the Federal government [Ottawa], each province determines its own specific health delivery policy. Hopefully, with the Romanov Report now out, things will change for the better within the next couple of years and health care will become more uniformly accessible, that is, truly 'universal'.
A few days ago the Romanov Report which examined Canada's health care system came back with about 47 specific recommendations. The chief of which was more spending by the Federal and Provincial governments. Unrelated to the report, but related to this issue, is the recent approval of a new medical school and an increase in the number of students being allowed into most of the existing medical schools. [The number of 'places' and therefore of graduating M.D.s is restricted/regulated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons - just like in the U.S., U.K., etc.]
Because of this doctor shortage, some provinces [like Ontario] are looking into fast-tracking certification of foreign doctors [2 years of CDN med schooling versus the current 4 years], and offering incentives to recent med school grads to practice in under-serviced rural areas [like in the show 'Northern Exposure']. Because there has also been an increase in foreign students studying medicine in Canada, there has also been talk about reducing the number of places available to foreign students, or requiring that they spend 5 years practicing medicine in under-serviced [Canadian] areas upon graduation.
Obviously none of the government levels can do any of this alone. They need the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the medical schools and the Canadian public to agree to this.
For U.S. posters:
BTW - your hospitals are actively recruiting our doctors and nurses away. They regularly have job fairs, post ads in newspapers [aside from in the medical journals] and their certification and licensing fast-tracking is literally almost overnight [weeks, not years]. This is not helping our present situation.
If this active recruitment of Canadian doctors by U.S. hospitals keeps going on, perhaps it's a sign that the U.S. health care system is also suffering from a doctor shortage. Maybe it's time for Senator Kennedy to do a similar report [investigation] on U.S. health care policy and delivery. I understand he did a very thorough job when he was involved in the Senate investigation into pharmaceutical manufacturers' practices.
If anyone has read this far, hope you get involved in health policy formulation in your area. It matters!