TORONTO, June 8, 2012 /CNW/ - Pointing to successful partnerships in other provinces, and a recently concluded tentative agreement between the government of British Columbia and the British Columbia Medical Association, Ontario's doctors called on the McGuinty government to start treating doctors fairly, and to negotiate an agreement that protects access to physicians, and doesn't increase wait times.
Dr. Doug Weir, child psychiatrist and President of the Ontario Medical Association called on Premier McGuinty to follow the lead of other provinces, and to bring the same approach to negotiations with doctors as he has brought to his negotiations with the NDP.
Other provinces in Canada are increasing the fees paid to their doctors and devising plans to modernize their fee schedules. In Ontario the McGuinty government rejected the doctors' offer to freeze their fees for 2 years, and to find additional savings of $250 million. Talks broke down last month after the government rejected the OMA's request to bring a Conciliator to the table, and moved to unilaterally impose cuts to OHIP fees and physician services rather than continue negotiating with the OMA.
"Governments across the country are working with their doctors. They're working to improve health care, identify challenges and put forward solutions. Here in Ontario, the government has taken a different approach. Rather than working collaboratively with us, they are threatening us, maligning us in the media, and have demonstrated no interest in achieving an agreement with us."
"History tells us that when you treat doctors poorly you send a strong message to the rest of the country's physicians - Ontario doesn't value your work. If we can't compete in Canada for our physicians, we'll never compete with the U.S. I have grave concerns with the short and long-term impact that this will have on health care in Ontario."
Dr. Doug Weir
Ontario Medical Association
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