TORONTO, June 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Dr. Douglas Mark, president of the Coalition of Family Physicians and Specialists of Ontario, today announced that the coalition is in full support of the Ontario Medical Association's decision to take legal action against the McGuinty government. "These are unprecedented times. The McGuinty government has stepped beyond the very laws that govern our great country. After weeks of lobbying, we agree that the doctors of Ontario had no other recourse than to take legal action to protect both our profession's future and the future of healthcare for the people of Ontario," said Dr. Mark.
On May 7, 2012, the Ontario government imposed changes retroactive to April 1st that will result in fewer physicians in Ontario, that will result in longer wait times in emergency rooms and for surgeries, as well as difficulty in finding a family physician and seeing a specialist. The government has also decided to cut coverage for diagnostic testing for lower back pain they deem "medically unnecessary".
"Contrary to the initial media reaction, this legal action is not about the wage freeze," said Dr. Mark. "Ontario's physicians offered to freeze wages, but the government instead imposed sweeping cuts that will cause a dramatic loss of necessary medical services."
The cuts, which have already begun, will affect necessary services, including diagnostic imaging, cardiac testing, and ophthalmological procedures and testing. Dr. Mark concluded, "No matter how much the government tries to sugar-coat their actions, they have already caused significant damage to the delivery of healthcare. Before the OMA can even consider returning to the negotiating table, the McGuinty government must reverse their unilateral actions. Only then will Ontario's doctors and their patients trust the government to truly negotiate in good faith."
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