The Ontario government has informed the OMA that effective October 1, 2015, it will impose an additional estimated $235 million in cuts to physician services payments in order to offset its deliberate underfunding of health care in this province.
The Ministry’s plan includes:
- An additional 1.3% across the board discount for fee-for-service payments (from 3.15% to 4.45%).
- A further 1% discount on all professional billings in excess of $1 million (in addition to the discount above).
- A series of targeted fee-for-service cuts, including fee adjustments in the areas of diagnostic imaging, point of care laboratory testing, echocardiography, diabetes management, intravitreal injection and pre-operative consultation for low-risk surgery.
The government had earlier signaled its intent to impose further cuts to physicians, and the OMA strenuously objected to the government’s plans and approach. The OMA has now received notice from the Ministry that it will move forward on October 1. We have posted the government’s implementation plan in its entirety on our website (https://www.oma.org/Member/Resources/AgreementCentre/).
The OMA Economics, Research and Analytics Department is conducting an impact analysis that we will make available to members as soon as possible. I have spoken directly to the leaders of those Sections most affected by the Ministry’s targeted cuts.
The Wynne government’s determination to fund the health care needs of Ontarians on the backs of our members marks an ongoing pattern of contempt toward the medical profession and public deception.
The OMA is vehemently opposed to these measures, which we consider unfair and unlawful. I will be seeking an urgent meeting with Minister Hoskins to address these matters directly.
The OMA has consistently delivered the message to government that we need innovative solutions to tackle the challenges of an aging, growing population. Failing to do so threatens our ability to offer the high-quality patient care Ontarians rightly expect. The government is ignoring this message, instead telling physicians that we must provide care under the constraints of their imposed hard-cap on physician services funding.
The OMA Board will meet Wednesday and Thursday this week, and we will provide a more comprehensive update and action plan to members shortly thereafter.
Dr. Mike Toth