The following News Release was issued by the MOHLTC this morning
Proposal Would Improve Patient Access, Provide More Support for Family Physicians
Today, Ontario shared with the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) a proposed three-year plan that would improve patient access to care, provide more support for family physicians, and build stability into Ontario's health-care budget.
Under the terms of the proposed plan, patients would receive more timely access to family physicians; family doctors would receive additional support; and fees paid to specialists would be reduced for certain procedures that can now be conducted with greater ease and at lesser cost. The proposed plan would also contribute to a sustainable and predictable physician services budget, one of the largest cost drivers of Ontario's health care system.
Specifically, the three-year plan proposed to the OMA would include:
- Increasing the physician services budget by 2.5 per cent each year.
- An additional $185 million in compensation to family doctors.
- A 'fairness review' of fees paid to physicians, to reflect technological advancements and ensure that all doctors are equitably compensated.
- Increasing to 1,440 the number of family doctors able to join models that deliver comprehensive care to patients over the course of the proposed plan.
This proposed investment will help deliver better coordinated, more locally-delivered and accessible primary care, which is where most patients access the health-care system. A reduction in fees paid to physicians that bill over $1 million annually will help enable the new investments, along with the reduction in fees for specific procedures. The investments will also support new family doctors that are graduating from medical school in taking on new patients.
The new proposal has been provided to the OMA for purposes of consultation and negotiation. As part of this proposal, the government has also committed that no further unilateral, across-the-board actions related to the physician compensation would be undertaken.
Strengthening family medicine is an important step forward in the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which provides patients with better access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to live healthy lives and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.
- The government is committed to ensuring that patients who want a primary care provider – such as a physician or nurse practitioner – have one, and improve the availability of same-day, next-day, after-hours and weekend care.
- This proposed plan represents twice the growth in the budget that was recommended by retired Chief Justice Warren Winkler in his recommendations to the OMA and government.
- 94 per cent of people in Ontario now have a primary health care provider. Through the work of the Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, Ontario is committed to connecting a family doctor or nurse practitioner to everyone who wants one.
- Since 2004, the government has created 200 Family Health Teams, 25 Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics and supported a significant expansion of Ontario’s Community Health Centres.
- Funding for home and community care, including mental health and addictions, has increased by about 5 per cent a year since 2013.
- In 2015, Ontario provided home care to approximately 650,000 people, including 28.7 million hours of personal support and homemaking, 6.9 million nursing visits and 2.1 million hours of nursing shifts.
“Physicians play a vital role in the lives of Ontario patients and I know very well how hard they work to deliver the highest quality care to their patients every day. Ontarians need investment in their health care system now so that they can get access to the care they need, when they need it.”
Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Communications and Marketing Division-MOHLTC
For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline
(Toll-free in Ontario only)