Toronto, ON, Feb. 17, 2015 – Ontario’s Doctors are calling on MPPs to put health care on the top of their agenda as they return to Queens Park this week.
“I have been meeting with physicians, patients and other stakeholders across the province over the past month and the theme I am hearing is they want government to put health care before politics, ” said Dr. Ved Tandan, President of the Ontario Medical Association. “The government’s recent imposed cuts to the physician services budget means less care not more for the growing, aging population of Ontario and people are concerned about these cuts to care.”
By the Ministry of Health’s own estimates, demand for medical care will grow by at least 2.7 per cent annually due to population growth in Ontario, an aging population, and the need for more complex care. Yet, the government has committed to fund 1.25%, or less than half of that growth.
The divide between the real need and what the government is willing to fund amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars that will compound year on year, adding more tension to the system.
Ontario’s doctors offered to take a fee if freeze if government would cover the cost of the growth associated with the aging and growing population. “We were surprised that the government refused to even consider that counter offer and has not accepted our invitation to come back to the table to discuss a zero percent increase in fees,” said Dr. Tandan.
Ontario’s Doctors will always put patients first and limit the impacts these cuts will have on patients. But we have made clear to the Premier that the reality is that patients will be affected by these cuts. The OMA remains hopeful the government will reconsider Ontario’s doctors offer to freeze our fees for two years as long as the government covers all the necessary growth in medical services for patients. It is the right thing to do for the patients of Ontario.
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