Government of Ontario threatens patient-focused care by further cutting funding for physician services

The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) has learned that starting October 1, 2015 Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care will further cut funding for physician services.

“Through their ongoing cuts, the government is seriously threatening access to the quality, patient-focused care Ontarians rightly expect from their doctor,” said Dr. Mike Toth, president of the OMA.

Starting October 1, 2015, the Ontario government will impose another 1.3 per cent cut across all fee-for-service doctors in the province, as well as a series of additional unilateral cuts to specific services. Combined with previously announced cuts to funding for physician services, the government has now cut the funding needed to care for our growing and aging population by a total of 6.9 per cent.

Negotiations between the government and Ontario’s doctors have been stalled since January 2015, after the OMA rejected an offer from the government. Ontario’s doctors could not accept an agreement that did not protect and strengthen patient-focused care because it failed to properly deal with the looming challenges facing the province’s health care system.

With a growing and aging population, Ontario’s publicly-funded health care system will be put under immense strain. The decisions Ontario makes today will impact patients’ access to quality care in the years to come. At a time when Ontario is growing, when demand for quality, patient-focused care is up, the government’s approach of limiting or, worse yet, cutting the funding needed for the increasing demand for physician services is not the way we solve the serious problems facing our health care system.

Following the OMA’s rejection, the government unilaterally limited funding for physician services by imposing a hard-cap. If physicians’ costs associated with providing their patients care exceeds the hard-cap imposed by the government, Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care will not fund physicians for those services. There is no maximum as to how much the government will not fund physicians.

“While the government cuts funding, Ontario’s doctors won’t cut corners,” added Dr. Toth. “We know and appreciate just how much our patients depend on our care. It is unfair for any patient in Ontario to bear any impact because of the government’s cuts in the necessary funding for physician services.”

Ontario’s doctors are committed to working with all stakeholders within the health care system to restore and protect the principles of patient-focused care.

Posted on September 14, 2015 in Campaign Media

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