January 28, 2015 — From the OMA President
Dear Premier Wynne:
Ontario’s Doctors were extremely disappointed to read your incorrect comment as reported in the Sudbury Star over the weekend regarding our recent negotiations with your government. And we felt, to be fair to patients, we needed to reach out to correct the record.
Ontario’s Doctors are supportive of the government investing in more positions and more services. We have a growing, aging and increasingly complex group of patients here in this province and an investment in health care would be a good one for Ontarians. In fact, as 140,000 new patients enter and put pressure on the system every year and, currently, 900,000 still do not have a family doctor your investment in health care growth is imperative.
This investment includes funding for new doctors who want to take care of new Ontarians and patients already struggling to access the care they need. It includes allowing family practitioners to work in the teams that they were trained in, complemented by other health care professionals. It includes making sure physicians can take care of Ontarians where and when they need it.
That is why Ontario’s doctors have offered to freeze our fees for two years if government lives up to its responsibility to fund that much needed growth. Because we know the need for medical care will grow by at least 2.7 per cent annually, and yet, your government is funding less than half of that growth – that’s just not enough for Ontarians.
Premier, I had the privilege of being at the negotiations table for a couple of days. I went with the understanding that negotiations should be about a partnership of big ideas, sharing common ground in health care and finding solutions for patients. Unfortunately, this time, it seemed to be all about the government’s budget.
And so, when government unilaterally imposes its terms in the next days and months to come, Ontario’s Doctors will do everything we can to limit the impact these cuts will have on patients, but make no mistake; they will have a negative impact on patients.
Premier Wynne, Ontario’s Doctors are serious about putting patients first. If you’d like to discuss our offer, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you.
But in the meantime, we wanted to correct the record – our patients deserve that.
Ved R. Tandan, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS
President, Ontario Medical Association