Ontario's doctors descend on Queen's Park

TORONTO, Nov. 23 /CNW/ - Today at the Ontario Legislature, doctors from across the province met with their MPPs to discuss various issues affecting patients and physicians in the hopes of working together to improve Ontario's health care system.

One point of discussion included the Ontario Medical Association's (OMA) new ad campaign that was just launched. The campaign marks the first phase of a three year plan and features the unique work of physicians and their commitment to patients.

"We're really excited about the opportunity to showcase the stories of physicians and provide some insight into their backgrounds and lives," said Dr. Suzanne Strasberg, President of the OMA. "We all have personal reasons for why we became doctors, but we all share one common goal, which is to provide our patients with the best possible care that they expect and deserve."

The theme of the province-wide campaign, "Your Life is Our Life's Work" features practicing physicians from various backgrounds and specialties - including psychiatry, neurosurgery, and family medicine - sharing stories and insights as to how and why they chose a career in medicine, and how it influences the care they provide to patients. The $1 million campaign is featured on outdoor media and in newspapers in major markets across the province. Their stories are also poignantly brought to life through television ads, marking the first time in recent memory that the OMA has produced television spots.

In conjunction with and in support of the ad campaign, the OMA will develop a policy platform in advance of the 2011 provincial election. The platform will contain policies and priorities that will strengthen the health care system and enhance the delivery of services to patients. It is hoped that each of the political parties will embrace these OMA priorities and include them in their respective election campaign platforms.

Working together with the government, Ontario's doctors have made progress in lowering wait times and taking on 800,000 new patients. In the hopes of continuing this positive momentum, physicians raised other key issues during their MPP meetings including:

    -   the importance of physician input in local health care decision
    -   administration of the H1N1 vaccine;
    -   the continued success in providing more patients in Ontario with
        family doctors;
    -   the impact of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on physicians; and
    -   the new funding to get Electronic Medical Records in 9,000
        physicians' offices, covering 10 million Ontarians by 2012.

"Physicians can provide valuable input into helping shape how and where health care services can be delivered at the local level in order to meet the needs of patients and communities," said Dr. Strasberg. "Being on the front lines, physicians know first-hand how important readily accessible health care services can have a long-lasting positive impact on the strength, prosperity and economic well-being of a community."

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

For further information: For further information: or to schedule an interview, please contact: OMA Media Relations, Leianne Musselman at (647) 638-6800; or Lorraine Forster at (416) 356-3128

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