Ontario imposes cuts on MDs after contract talks...
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Jan 15, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Ontario imposes cuts on MDs after contract talks fail

The province is imposing $580 million in cuts to fees paid to doctors after the Ontario Medical Association rejected the province's final offer


The Ontario government is imposing $580 million in cuts on the province’s 28,000 doctors after the two sides failed to reach a contract settlement.

After a year of talks, the Ontario Medical Association walked away from the table, rejecting the government’s final offer, even though a conciliator urged the organization to reconsider.

Health Minister Eric Hoskins told reporters Thursday that he was “disappointed” the OMA turned down the proposed deal, forcing him to impose cuts. A physician himself, Hoskins moved to assure Ontarians that their health care would not be affected.

“This has nothing to do with service levels, this has to do with physicians’ incomes,” the minister said, noting doctors’ salaries have jumped 61 per cent since the Liberals took power in 2003, meaning they earn an average of $360,000 annually.

OMA president Dr. Ved Tandan, however, warned that patients will feel the impact.

“When government imposes these terms, doctors will do everything we can to limit the impact these cuts will have on patients, but make no mistake, there will be negative impacts on patients,” he said, warning of longer waits to see doctors, get tests and have surgery.

Cuts to the $11.4-billion physician services budget include a 2.65 per cent discount to all fee-for-service payments.

The government will no longer pay for doctors’ continuing medical education fees. Physicians will no longer receive a premium for seeing patients at walk-in clinics on weekends or holidays.

Tandan said Ontario’s health system is already stretched and demands on doctors will continue to grow as the population grows and ages.

“Patients can’t wait for the government to balance its budget,” he said, adding that doctors would have accepted a two-year freeze on their fees.

Ontario’s former chief justice, Warren Winkler, served as a conciliator for the troubled talks, and in his Dec. 11 report, he urged the OMA to reconsider its rejection of the government’s final offer, which contained cuts similar to those being imposed.

Winker also recommended creating a task force on the future of physician services in Ontario and a minister’s roundtable on health system transformation.

The last contract expired in March last year.

Toronto Star

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(2) Comment

By StatusQuoContinues | JANUARY 16, 2015 11:42 AM
Barry - YET..............
By Barry | JANUARY 16, 2015 09:56 AM
This is some thing new for the Fiberals, not giving into Pubic Sector UNION, OH silly me there NOT UNIONIZED.....
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