Myth: In 2012, the OMA, in return for being recognized as the sole bargaining agent for doctors, signed an Agreement allowing the province to impose settlements on doctors unilaterally, without sending them to binding arbitration.
Fact: The OMA is and has always been categorically opposed to unilateral action by the Ontario Government. It is destructive to the relationship between the parties and the health care system in our province. The OMA did not agree to unilateral action in return for sole bargaining rights.
In 2012, the OMA sought mediation-arbitration as a means to resolve issues between the parties and to conclude renewal Physician Services Agreements. The Ontario Government rejected the OMA request. In turn, we negotiated the Facilitation-Conciliation process. This then meant that government had to at least follow a process with third-party neutrals. With the three Supreme Court decisions from earlier this year, the status quo is constitutionally deficient and we are again seeking mediation-arbitration.
Mediation-arbitration is a very common process for resolving disputes, like the current one involving the Ontario Government and the OMA. The mediation-arbitration process runs throughout the Ontario public sector and, more broadly, it is the process in place to resolve disputes between medical associations and governments in most other provinces and territories throughout Canada. Why is final dispute resolution such a standard process in Ontario and throughout Canada? It is a balanced process that produces fair and reasonable results in stark contrast to blunt, unilateral government action.
The OMA, on behalf of its members, will continue in its efforts to conclude a renewal Physician Services Agreement with the government through mediation-arbitration. This is the right way forward for the parties and, more importantly, the patients of our province who are entitled to a sustainable and responsive health care system. Ontario’s physicians will not settle for less.
Friday’s news release on government’s unwillingness to accept mediation-arbitration generated substantial positive media coverage in major markets during the long weekend. Sun Media also ran favorable articles and editorials questioning the Wynne government’s health care plan and the Price Report. Health stories from across Ontario are updated daily on the OMA website (https://www.oma.org/sections/news-events/news/health-news-highlights).
Member response to the Physician Action Survey is outstanding, thank you! More than 6,500 members have completed the survey. The deadline is tomorrow, October 14, at midnight.
OMA Tweet Of The Day: As a doctor I know that care should NOT include limiting access + quality of service patients need. Why doesn’t @ONGov? #CareNotCuts #OnPoli
Dr. Mike Toth