Ontario's doctors say budget puts the health care system at risk

TORONTO, April 23, 2015 /CNW/ - The government's budget introduced today puts the health care system at risk, say Ontario's doctors.

"The government's budget continues to drastically underfund health care – that's a problem for patients and it's a problem for doctors," said Dr. Ved Tandan, President of the Ontario Medical Association. "There are 900,000 people in this province without a family doctor and the population continues to grow and age – this budget ignores both that growth and that unmet need and that's unacceptable."

According to the latest figures from the Canadian Institute of Health Information, per capita health spending in Ontario ranks ninth out of 10 provinces with an estimated $3,768 spent per person compared to $4,699 in Alberta and $4,430 in Manitoba. Two provinces where the provincial governments are funding growth in the health care system – a responsibility that Ontario is not living up to.

"The government's policy of taking from the health care system to balance its budget is simply irresponsible and is putting the health care system in jeopardy of not being able to meet patient needs," said Dr. Tandan. "As providers on the front lines every day, we know patients can't wait for the government to balance its books before making health a priority. We have to invest in patients. 

"Doctors are doing everything we can to minimize the negative impacts of cuts but when you slash almost $1.5 billion from medical services in less than five years and flat-line hospital budgets, that will have an impact on patients."

Ontario's Doctors continue to call on the Wynne Government to come back to the bargaining table and put patients first in the discussion.  The Ontario Medical Association has offered to freeze  physician fees for two years if government agrees to pay for the costs of the growing and aging population.

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

For further information: Danielle Milley, Senior Advisor Media Relations, 416-599-2580 or 1-800-268-7215 ext. 3008, or danielle.milley@oma.org; OMA Media Relations, 416-340-2862 or toll-free at 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2862, media@oma.org

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