University of Toronto Medical School, Class 1990
Chief Resident 1991
Certificante of College of Family Physicians of Canada 1992
Medical Staff Executive, Collingwood General and Marine Hospital 1993-1996
Chief of Family Practice, Collingwood General and Marine Hospital 1996-1999
Coroner for Ontario 2001 - ongoing
Fellowship in Family Medicine, College of Family Physicians of Canada, 2002
Founding Physician Georgian Bay Family Health Network 2004
Chair of Board, Georgian Bay Family Health Team - 2007-2013
Academic appointments - University of Toronto (Lecturer in Medicine), McMaster University (Assistant Clinical Professor), Queen's University (Assistant Clinical Professor).
Winner - Regional Family Physician of the Year (Ontario College of Family Physicians) - 2011
Winner - Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award - 2013
Section of General and Family Practice Executive, OMA - 2016 to current
Currently, the Hoskins/Bell legacy is not a pretty one. It's one of internecine disputes with doctors, laid-off nurses, hospital deficits, patients in stretchers for days and egregious wait times. At least with family medicine, they have an opportunity to begin to correct this mess.
I can see that we are once again heading for the same situation as the late 1990s/early 2000s, when many medical trainees stopped going into comprehensive family medicine. The reasons then were due to increased workload, better opportunities in other specialties and an extremely poor relationship with the government of the day. To suggest that there was a crisis in family medicine would be dramatically understating the issue.
This past weekend, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), held its bi-annual council meeting. The council is the governing body of the OMA and sets policy for the organization. It was clear from the enthusiasm and the passion exhibited that the OMA has turned a new leaf.
Last week, the Ontario Liberal Government released the specifics of the 2017-2018 Budget. From a health care perspective, what became startlingly evident, was that the Liberals seem to be unable to comprehend exactly how the health care system functions. They are seemingly unable or unwilling to look at the big picture when trying to solve problems.
Kathleen Wynne may very well owe Unilateral Eric big for making her premier. But if Wynne is serious about governing the province properly, her next step must be to shuffle the most disastrous health minister Ontario has had in recent memory out of his portfolio.
Last week, two health care stories in the news that got relatively little attention illustrated exactly what is wrong with the direction health care is taking in Ontario, under the leadership of its hapless Health Minister Eric Hoskins, and beleaguered Premier Kathleen Wynne.
There are repeated references in the media to this being a coup or a hostile takeover of some sort. Even the word "insurgency" has been used. This was not due to a small radical group of the dissidents. More than likely, your own doctor supported this change.
The growing awareness that something is seriously, and fundamentally wrong with the health-care system is sure to envelop Minister Hoskins this year. Maybe then he'll stop playing politics, and actually work in true partnership with all health-care workers, to deliver the improvements our health-care system so badly needs.
For Christmas, all Ontario doctors asked for was a brief respite from the toxic relationship between them and the Ontario Government of Premier Kathleen Wynne. They realized it would be too much to ask for an acceptable Physician Services Agreement after three years without one, but a couple of weeks without internecine politicking would have been welcome this holiday season.
Last week, physicians in Ontario were stunned to hear that one of their colleagues, who by all accounts was a bright vivacious woman, had died, allegedly due to domestic abuse, or Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) as it's now called. She leaves behind young children, and a legacy of kindness, health care advocacy and caring.
The past two years have seen a significant deterioration in the relationship between Ontario's physicians, and the Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne and her health minister, Eric Hoskins. Rather than just protest, Health City's plan is to bring awareness of the health care crisis to the general public, and also educate them as to what they can do to fight for proper health care services in Ontario.
It's been reported that Canada spends the fourth most per capita on health care of all of the industrialized countries in the world. Yet, despite all that money being spent, Canada's health-care system currently ranks 30th in the world, according to the World Health Organization and last amongst all OECD countries in terms of wait times.
As Eric Hoskins knows very well, infrastructure itself doesn't have much value. What has a lot of value is patient data. This type of data is a treasure trove for private businesses and would be worth a lot of money to them. Just look at how Facebook has been able to monetize the personal information it has stored on all its "friends."
For six years the Ministry of Health has known that ePrescribe has, at little cost, saved lives and improved patient care. Sadly, it is but one of the many examples of the incredible waste and mismanagement of the health care system. Small dedicated investments are avoided, in order to create bigger projects such as the current medication management system, that cost exponentially more, but more importantly, provide jobs for bureaucrats. The fact that patients won't be helped is not relevant.
It was another tumultuous week in Ontario, as the province's seemingly never-ending battle with its physicians continued. The grand Hoskins scheme now seems to be to sow discord amongst physicians so they fight amongst themselves. He knows that if physicians unite against Bill 210, as they did against the tPSA, he will never be able to succeed in implementing his plans.
The General Meeting was the result of extremely tenacious activism on the part of the Concerned Ontario Doctors (COD) group, co-led by Dr. Nadia Alam and Dr. Kulvinder Gill. However, the OMA corporation, couldn't hold off the relatively sparsely funded COD, and in an epic piece of medical history, could barely garner 37 per cent of the vote of the membership in favour of their proposed agreement.
If it's approved it will hurt your ability to get a family physician if you don't have one. It will increase wait times for diagnostic tests and specialists. It will decrease Ontario's already low physician to patient ratio (currently seventh out of the 10 provinces).
Look: it's extremely important for government finances and expenditures to be transparent for the general public, who, after all, foot the bill. The problem however, is that the Sunshine List is anything but fully transparent, and needs to be fixed before revealing physicians' billings.