Ontario’s doctors respond to Andre Picard’s Globe and Mail article
Letter to the Editor - Doctors’ pay must be negotiated, not imposed.
Ontario’s doctors respond to Andre Picard’s Globe and Mail article
Letter to the Editor - Doctors’ pay must be negotiated, not imposed.
April 14, 2016

April 12th, 2016 - Letter to the Editor - Doctors’ pay must be negotiated, not imposed

Andre Picard rightly points out that the physician services budget must be negotiated, not imposed. It is only with a fair agreement that providing medical care to Ontario’s growing and aging population can be addressed in a way that ensures both the sustainability of our health care system and patient access to high-quality patient-focused care.

Mr. Picard is one of the most knowledgeable voices on health care in the media, which is why it is surprising and disappointing to see him call an entire group of medical specialists “grossly overpaid” for the necessary care they provide to patients.

Doctors do not control the demand for patient care; they provide the necessary medical care when it is needed. We are committed to providing the care patients require – even when those needs increase and they will as we are living longer and with more chronic conditions than ever before. Ontario’s doctors urge the provincial government to come back to the table with a binding dispute resolution mechanism so that together we can improve patient care.

Dr. Mike Toth,
President,
Ontario Medical Association

April 12th, 2016 - Letter to the Editor - Doctors’ pay must be negotiated, not imposed

Thank you for your opinion piece in support of negotiating physician payments via a fair and bilateral process.

I disagree however with your broad generalization that ophthalmologists are "grossly overpaid". When overhead and equipment costs are factored in, ophthalmology is clearly not an overpaid outlier compared to other specialists. Gross billing does not equal take home pay.
I encourage you to consider an article by Dr. Petch et al. from CIHI (not an ophthalmologist) looking at overhead influence on specialist incomes.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3517870/

Many ophthalmologists do not perform surgery and instead have office based practices similar to other medical specialists. Others care exclusively for children or patients with low vision needs, and these ophthalmologists are certainly undervalued in our current system.

Dr. Robert Adam,
Ophthalmologist,
St. Joseph's Health Center Toronto