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Ontario Medical Review
April 5, 2023
Kurt Kleiner

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of the Ontario Medical Review magazine.

Preparations begin for the next Physician Services Agreement

The OMA will be consulting members to ensure priorities guide the mandate going into negotiations

The Ontario Medical Association will be asking members and constituency groups to tell them what they want to see in the next Physician Services Agreement. The consultation process will help the association shape its priorities as it enters negotiations with the Ministry of Health this fall.

Preparations for the next round of negotiations are happening, even while the last agreement is still being implemented. The 2021 agreement, ratified in March 2022, runs three years and will expire in 2024.

Last year, as part of a review of the negotiating process for the 2021 PSA, the OMA board heard from members and constituency groups that they want more opportunities for input and more transparency as the process continues.

Dr. Cathy Faulds, chair of the OMA Board of Directors, said members have made it clear that negotiations and the successful ratification of the PSA are their No. 1 priority.

dr-cathy-faulds.jpg“We have a talented group of physicians on our new Negotiations Task Force who have been selected for their skills and experience,” she said. “Their backgrounds and experiences are what’s needed to advocate for members at a time when our physicians are under a great deal of stress to provide the care patients need.”

Moving forward, all OMA members will receive a survey asking them what their priorities are for the upcoming round of negotiations. Over the next several months, the Negotiations Task Force will consider the results of the survey as it begins shaping the mandate that will guide negotiations.

Dr. Cathy Faulds, chair of the OMA Board of Directors

Stay informed

The OMA has developed a new web page to keep members updated about the negotiations process. Updates will also be provided regularly via OMA News, Board Chair Updates and other channels/events.

The task force will also meet with OMA constituency groups, including sections, medical interest groups, fora and others, in preparation for the negotiations and will give updates as negotiations take place.

In February, the board named the members of the new negotiating task force, selecting five individuals from a slate of 21 candidates. They were chosen based on a number of criteria, including their understanding of issues, negotiation experience and financial literacy.

The members include two from family practice, one emergency physician and two specialists. They are Dr. Patrick Conlon, Dr. Nikolina Mizdrak, Dr. Atul Kapur, Dr. Dave Neilipovitz and Dr. Winnie Wong. Howard Goldblatt and Steven Barrett of Goldblatt Partners LLP will once again serve as negotiations advisers.

Over the next several months, the task force will consult with OMA members and constituency groups and develop priorities for negotiations. Bilateral negotiations with the ministry are expected to begin in October.

Kurt Kleiner is a Toronto-based writer.