TORONTO, July 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Ontario's doctors officially filed documents with the Ontario Superior Court to review the McGuinty government's negotiating tactics. Dr. Doug Weir, President of the Ontario Medical Association, said the government has denied Ontario's doctors' right to negotiate in good faith under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
As outlined in the filing, Ontario's doctors believe the McGuinty government has denied Ontario's doctors' right to negotiate under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms; and that the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care has misled the public and misrepresented the governments' and OMA's position in this process. In addition, the McGuinty government has tried to do an end-run on the OMA by approaching individuals who are not representative of the profession to discuss matters directly connected to negotiations.
As a result, Ontario's doctors will ask the Superior Court to:
- Confirm the OMA's representational rights on behalf of doctors in negotiations with the government;
- Reverse the unilateral cuts that were announced on May 7th; and
- Order the government back to the table to engage in meaningful discussions with the OMA.
Starting in February, Ontario's doctors and the government held meetings to discuss challenges in the health care system and how they can be addressed through a new contract for physician services. From the start, the government rejected all offers from Ontario's doctors and threatened to unilaterally cut $1 billion in programs and fees. Without the consent of doctors, the government began imposing these cuts last month, which is going to hurt patient care and make it more difficult to recruit and retain physicians.
"What's deeply disappointing and ironic is that the government has been picking and choosing who it negotiates with. It's hard to understand why doctors would not be given the same courtesy as the NDP."
"We cannot stand idly by while the government stomps on the rights of doctors and plows ahead with its plan to unilaterally cut $1 billion in health programs and services, which is going to hurt patient care and access."
"Despite today's announcement, Ontario's doctors want to negotiate with the government - but only if Premier Dalton McGuinty and Health and Long-Term Care Minister Deb Matthews show doctors the same respect and courtesy they have shown others in recent negotiations."
Dr. Doug Weir
Ontario Medical Association
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