Toronto, March 28, 2017 - The Ontario government has introduced Bill 87 for Second Reading, bringing another deeply flawed health-care Bill closer to being passed without any input from physicians. Without changes, Bill 87 may threaten the provision of good medical care and introduce even more bureaucracy to the health system.
“Ontario’s doctors support the intent behind Bill 87 to protect patients from sexual abuse, for which the profession has a zero tolerance policy,” said Dr. Rachel Forman, Ontario Medical Association spokesperson. “Proposed changes must simultaneously protect patients and afford physicians access to a just and fair process through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) – Bill 87 compromises this.”
Doctors are concerned the government’s proposed approach will weaken the health-care system for patients. Bill 87 may put front-line providers in a position where they are afraid to perform certain aspects of the physical exam because they will not be afforded due process at the CPSO level.
“We are also alarmed that the government has opportunistically taken steps to gain access to the personal health information of individual doctors,” said Dr. Forman. “The government has provided no clear purpose for this power or limits on when or how much information they can access. Physicians and other health-care providers are citizens and patients and are entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy.”
The government’s omnibus Bill, also introduces more paper-work for doctors as a solution for immunization reporting and surveillance, instead of prioritizing the creation of a fully operable immunization registry that enables the seamless transfer of vaccination information from provider to database.
Changes to the rules around ‘Specimen Collection Centres’ to include individual physician offices creates unnecessary bureaucracy. These changes will make it harder for doctors to offer specimen collection services (such as blood, urine, saliva) to patients. The introduction of new compliance requirements might make providing the service unsustainable in community clinics.
“Ontario’s physicians could have provided valuable input into all aspects of Bill 87, but our knowledge and experience from the front lines continues to be ignored by the provincial government,” said Dr. Forman. “We are calling on the government to scrap Bill 87 and to work with doctors to come up with a truly workable plan that protects patients and improves the health-care system.
For more information, please contact:
Nadia Daniell-Colarossi, Manager Media Relations
Office: 416-340-2970 or 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2970
Danielle Milley, Senior Advisor Media Relations
Office: 416-599-2580 or 1-800-268-7215 ext. 3008