TORONTO, Dec. 7, 2016 /CNW/ - Ontario's doctors are deeply disappointed that Bill 41 became law today.
The legislation primarily serves to give government more power and control. Instead of more funding for patient care, the government's plan is to create more expensive bureaucracy.
Bill 41 will create up to 80 new sub-Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) bureaucracies. These will be in addition to the already existing 14 LHINs, which according to the Auditor General don't have sufficient oversight and performance accountability. In spite of this, the Minister of Health, through Bill 41, is giving LHINs more responsibility without any clear process for ensuring they are effective.
"Patients are desperately in need of care," said Dr. Virginia Walley, President of the Ontario Medical Association. "It is troubling that the government's response to the needs of patients is to increase their own power over local planning, increase the number of administrative jobs in health care, and create duplicative forms for doctors to fill out. None of what the government is doing will add a single cent to make front line care more accessible to patients. It will not assist the almost 800,000 Ontarians who do not have a family doctor and it will do nothing to reduce wait times."
In fact, this legislation will actually do the opposite. In addition to more bureaucracy, Bill 41 will force physicians to spend time that could otherwise be used for providing direct patient care reporting to LHINs the details about their clinics, which they already send to the Ministry of Health and the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Ontario doctors already spend more than 12 hours a week on non-clinical patient care, including filling out forms and navigating our complicated health system on behalf of patients.
To respond to the deep frustration that physicians are feeling right now with this legislation, the OMA has recommended that doctors refuse to participate in all meetings with the Ministry, LHINs, and the new sub-LHINs that deal with the implementation of Bill 41. In the coming days and weeks, the Ontario Medical Association will be consulting with doctors to see how we can send a stronger signal to Minister Hoskins and the Government.
"At the end of the day the government has the power to make the changes they want to the health-care system, even if it means more bureaucracy," said Dr. Walley. "And ultimately doctors have become like duct tape – holding together a broken system, by working ever harder and longer on behalf of our patients – to prevent them from falling through the cracks in the system."
SOURCE Ontario Medical Association
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