Ontario's Doctors take opportunity to share concerns about Bill 41 at Standing Committee

TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2016 /CNW/ - Ontario's doctors will finally have the opportunity to formally voice their concerns about Bill 41 today. This legislation, which will impose fundamental changes to how primary care is delivered in Ontario, was created without meaningful collaboration with doctors who have experience and knowledge about patient care.

Ontario's doctors have been calling on the government to make substantive changes to the legislation, which is now before committee for just six and a half hours of presentations after debate was cut short in the legislature.

"Instead of a meaningful consultation, the government continues to push through Bill 41," said Dr. Virginia Walley, OMA President. "This is yet another example of this government's inability to work constructively with doctors." 

Dr. Stephen Chris, President-Elect of the Ontario Medical Association, is presenting to the Standing Committee on Legislative Assembly today on behalf of the OMA's 29,000 practicing members. Dr. Chris knows firsthand how the proposed changes will make providing patient care more difficult.

"I am very concerned about Bill 41 as it allows politicians and bureaucrats to prioritize their decisions about the health-care system over the care needs of patients," he said. "It gives government the power to over-ride the expertise of physicians and local health care providers in order to ration care and stay within their budget instead of putting the wellbeing of patients first."

Ontario's doctors are also concerned that Bill 41 – as it is currently written – will allow government investigators to access personal health records without patient consent in the name of 'public interest'.

Bill 41 (formerly Bill 210) imposes radical changes on how primary care is delivered in Ontario and is yet another example of government making unilateral alterations to the health-care system without collaborating with doctors. At a time when Health Minister Eric Hoskins is talking about limiting health resources, Bill 41 proposes more expensive bureaucracy. 

"Ontario's doctors have a history of constructively working with government to develop solutions that meet the needs of patients and improve the health system in this province," said Dr. Walley. "Ontarians have overwhelmingly expressed that they trust doctors and want them to make decisions about patient care and so we are urging the members of Committee to seriously consider our concerns. Amendments must be made before this bill is passed."

The OMA's submission is available upon request.

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

For further information: Nadia Daniell-Colarossi, Manager Media Relations, Office: 416-340-2970 or 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2970, Mobile: 416-804-4600, Email: nadia.daniell-colarossi@oma.org

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