Ontario's patients and doctors join together to tell government to stop cutting funding for physician services

TORONTO, Oct. 1, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, thousands of patients and doctors will join together in a "virtual day of action" to tell Premier Kathleen Wynne to put patients first and stop cutting funding for physician services.

Organized by the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), the virtual day of action will tap into grassroots concern about the future of Ontario's health-care system by spreading a single message en masse at 2 p.m., which will reach more than 1.2 million people across Twitter and Facebook.

Effective today, the Ontario government will have cut funding for physician services by a total of 6.9 per cent since February 2015, which includes across-the-board cuts and a number of targeted cuts that affect specific specialties.

"Ontarians are concerned about the future of quality, patient-focused care in our province," said Dr. Michael Toth, president of the OMA. "Ontarians recognize that at a time when our population is growing and aging, our publicly funded health-care system is under immense strain. Cutting funding for physician services will result in a real and serious threat to patients' ability to access quality care when they need it most."

In addition to the cuts in physician services, the government has unilaterally limited funding for physician services by imposing a hard-cap. If demand for care from patients exceeds this arbitrary hard-cap, doctors are responsible for subsidizing the additional amount through a fee cut or claw back – this is the reason behind today's additional cuts to the physician services budget.

Negotiations between the government and Ontario's doctors have been stalled since January 2015, after the OMA rejected an offer from the government. Ontario's doctors could not accept an agreement that did not protect and strengthen patient-focused care because it failed to properly deal with the looming challenges facing the province's health care system.

"Cutting the funding needed for the increasing demand for physician services is not the way we solve the serious problems facing our health care system," added Dr. Toth. "Together, we can put patients first by protecting the quality care Ontario's families deserve."

Ontario's doctors remain committed to working with all stakeholders within the health-care system to restore and protect the principles of patient-focused care.

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

For further information: Danielle Milley, Senior Advisor Media Relations, Office: 416-599-2580 or 1-800-268-7215 ext. 3008, BB: 647-300-0081, Email: danielle.milley@oma.org; OMA Media Relations, 416-340-2862 or toll-free at 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2862, media@oma.org


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