Toronto, ON, October 19, 2016 - Ontario’s doctors are once again calling for meaningful consultation on Bill 41, the legislation the provincial government started debate on today.
The Minister of Health has been misleading in his claim that the government has consulted with the Ontario Medical Association. Bill 41 is another example of this government’s inability to work constructively with others. Discussion and shared decision-making about our health-care system has been replaced by a government that presents its plans with no option but to accept them.
Instead of a meaningful consultation, the government has ignored our calls for amendments, and continues to push through Bill 41 without the input of physicians who provide patient care.
Ontario’s doctors have analyzed the Bill and can confirm that it gives the government more power to dictate terms to physicians and others, limits the ability of groups to disagree with the government, and empowers government investigators to access patients’ medical records without their consent.
Additionally, Bill 41 amends 19 pieces of existing legislation, clearing the path for government to make decisions that will align best with their policies and political interests. It is not clear how the Bill will be implemented or interpreted by the LHINs, who will gain unprecedented power, despite the fact their performance and effectiveness have come under criticism by the Auditor General.
Notwithstanding the efforts of government to sideline doctors from plans to reform primary care, our role remains crucial in the health-care system and is one that we will not abandon. We know that is what our patients expect of us – to continue to advocate for patients’ best interests. The OMA will request to present at committee and will continue to work tirelessly to change this legislation as it moves forward.
Dr. Virginia M. Walley,
Ontario Medical Association