OMA disappointed to learn government unwilling to accept mediation-arbitration

TORONTO, Oct. 9, 2015 /CNW/ - Every day, Ontario's 28,000 doctors go to work to put our patients first.  For us, it's simple:  there's no job more important than the health of our patients.

It's because of our patients that doctors have been fighting hard to get a fair and reasonable deal that puts patients first.

After being without an agreement since April 1, 2014, we were disappointed to learn today that the government was unwilling to accept the OMA's request to amend the Representation Rights Agreement to replace facilitation-conciliation with a binding dispute resolution process.  We asked for mediation-arbitration to ensure we could work together for a fair deal that puts patients first.

The government's unilateral actions of an almost seven per cent cut to physician services expenditures since February, which are the expenditures for all the care doctors provide to patients in Ontario, are simply not sustainable. If these cuts continue, they will threaten access to the quality, patient-focused care Ontarians need and expect.

With a growing and aging population, Ontario's publicly-funded health care system will be put under immense strain. The decisions Ontario makes today will impact patients' access to quality care in the years to come.

While the OMA had hoped that the government would have accepted our request for a mediation-arbitration process, we have been left with no other option and are compelled to act in the best interests of our patients. Driven by our responsibility to protect the quality, patient-focused care that Ontarians deserve, Ontario's doctors are now actively exploring all legal options available to us.

BACKGROUND:

  • Following an almost unanimous vote from OMA Council the OMA sought a mediation-arbitration process to achieve a new Physician Services Agreement between the parties and to bring an end to the current impasse and government resort to unilateral action.
  • A bilateral Special Committee was struck to deal with this issue.
  • The work of the bilateral Special Committee has now been completed. 
  • The government was unwilling to accept the OMA's request to amend the Representation Rights Agreement to replace facilitation-conciliation with a binding dispute resolution process.

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

For further information: Saturday and Sunday: Kari Cuss, BB. 416-561-2180, Email: kari.cuss@oma.org; Monday: Danielle Milley, BB: 647-300-0081, Email: danielle.milley@oma.org

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