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News release
March 12, 2020

OMA Supports Province's New Measures for COVID-19 Assessment

TORONTO, MARCH 12, 2020 – The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) is pleased to see the Ontario Government introduce measures to increase access to testing and assessment for diagnosing COVID-19 and for taking positive steps to keep patients healthy by enabling patients to consult with their physician over the telephone.

“The OMA has been working with the government and the broader healthcare system so that we are ready to respond to this evolving situation,” said Dr. Sohail Gandhi, OMA President. “Together we are focused on keeping the public, our patients and our front-line workers healthy. It’s essential that our health care resources are put to best use caring for patients”.

Dedicated assessment centres, new physician billing codes for telephone assessments and the creation of a COVID-19 self-assessment tool will help ensure that doctors are able to assess patients in designated settings or to make an initial assessment without the patient coming into the waiting room and potentially putting others at risk.

The OMA looks forward to working with the ministry to continue to expand virtual care options beyond the phone to keep patients and front-line health care providers healthy.

At this time, we would encourage people to follow the Public Health Agency of Canada’s advice and exercise prudent social distancing by avoiding public gatherings and practicing good health hygiene.

Ontario’s doctors want to remind the public to follow these six tips to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
  • Wash your hands with soap frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect common surfaces that a lot of people touch.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
  • Cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve or the bend of your arm, not into your hand.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick and stay home from work or social engagements when you are ill.
  • Don’t wear a mask unless you are sick.

About the OMA
The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario’s 43,000 plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario’s health-care system.

For more information, please contact: OMA Media Relations at 416.340.2862 or toll-free at 1.800.268.7215, ext. 2862 @OntariosDoctors