TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Don Drummond, a recognized economist and
the Chair of the Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services
has made a number of recommendations regarding the health care system.
The future of and the sustainability of health care in this province is
a crucial issue. The doctors of Ontario and the OMA welcome a
thoughtful and thorough discussion about improvements to the health
While we need to consider the recommendations carefully, it's important
to note that Mr. Drummond's work focused solely on balancing the
provincial budget. Economists look at things very differently than
doctors do. As doctors, we will focus on patients, improving their
health and well-being and ensuring they have access to the right care
when they're sick. It will be important to strike the appropriate
balance between finding efficiencies and protecting patient care.
Doctors were pleased to note that the report calls for the expansion of
Family Health Teams, that physicians should be actively engaged in LHIN
decision making, that electronic health records need to be integrated
across the system, and that more procedures should be done out of
The report suggests more physicians should be involved in information
technology and more doctors should be practicing in groups. There has
been great progress on both these fronts as there over 7 million
patients who are covered by an electronic medical record, which are
being managed by over 7,000 physicians and over 9 million patients are
enrolled in primary care groups along with over 9,000 physicians.
In addition, the report also suggests that doctors in Ontario are the
highest paid in the country. However, the Canadian Institute for
Health Information has evidence that suggests otherwise. CIHI states
the average gross payment for a family doctor in Ontario ranks 8th out of 10 provinces and is below the national average. Overall, the
average gross payment for a physician in Ontario ranks 7th out of the 10 provinces.
Doctors are well aware of the fiscal pressures that the government is
facing provincially. That's why we have already offered several
meaningful suggestions that identify efficiencies that do not
negatively impact on patients. To date, we have found over $240 million
in savings that do not impact patient care. We look forward to
continuing this important work with the government.
Ontario's doctors have been leaders when it comes to putting forward
solutions to address challenges in the health care system. Ontario's
doctors will continue to work the government to develop a comprehensive
system that will improve patients' access to quality health care and
will also result in the best outcomes for patients.
Stewart Kennedy, MD
Ontario Medical Association
SOURCE Ontario Medical Association
For further information:
Director, Public Affairs,
Ontario Medical Association
150 Bloor St. West, Suite 900, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3C1
tel: 416.340.2928 cell: 647-302-1600 tf: 1.800.268.7215 ext. 2928
email: email@example.com web: www.oma.org