Toronto, ON, October 6, 2016 – Ontario’s physicians are disappointed with the provincial government today.
For months, Ontario’s doctors have been calling on the government to make substantive changes to its primary care legislation (formerly Bill 210), and we believed that prorogation gave the government the opportunity for meaningful consultation with the doctors who work on the front-line. The government has chosen to reintroduce this legislation without such consultation, and absent the amendments sought by the medical profession.
The government says it is committed to health-care transformation that will make the Ontario health system stronger and serve patients better, but the government ignores evidence from around the world that physician collaboration is critical for the success of such sweeping change.
Bill 41 (formerly Bill 210) imposes radical changes on how primary care is delivered in Ontario and is yet another example of government making unilateral alterations to the health-care system without collaborating with doctors. At a time when Minister Hoskins is talking about limiting health resources, Bill 41proposes more expensive bureaucracy. While LHINs aggressively pursue local planning approaches, this bill provides sweeping powers for the Minister of Health and LHIN CEOs to impose decisions on local patient care. Ontario’s doctors don’t believe the Minister and LHIN CEOs should have the power to make unilateral decisions on patient care, and Ontario’s doctors believe that health resources must be focused on front-line care, not on redundant bureaucracy and administration.
Ontario’s doctors have a history of constructively working with government to develop solutions that meet the needs of patients and improve the health system in this province. Ontarians have overwhelmingly expressed that they trust doctors and want them to make decisions about patient care. There are no challenges in our health system that can be fixed by the Minister of Health alone - we must work together.
We are disappointed that the government continues to marginalize the medical profession, to ignore the expertise, knowledge and advice of doctors on the front-line, and to push forward with this flawed legislation – these actions ultimately are not in the best interests of patients.
Dr. Virginia Walley,
Ontario Medical Association