Publicly-funded hospitals are not constituted "primarily for religious purposes." All Ontario hospitals, Catholic and others, exist to deliver medically necessary services, and all are funded by provinces for that purpose. All hospitals offer the aid and support of religious counsel to families that request it. All hospitals have quiet spaces for reflection and prayer.
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."
Hundreds of codeine tablets stolen from the medicine cabinet of an elderly person living alone in a rural community. Hydromorphone tablets being distributed at weddings and high school parties. Fentanyl patches being cut up and sold for a profit on the street. This is the reality of the opioid crisis in Canada today.
We hope the failure of negotiations in Ontario spurs a complete rethink of this approach. Maybe what we want to do is limit a la carte billing for doctor services in the first place, and have far clearer contractual directives against cost-ineffective treatments and towards quality, safe and high-value care.
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.
By rejecting the PSA, physicians have turned their backs on the proposed system of co-management. Physicians have clearly identified that they can see the failings of the system and it is critical that those perspectives are heard by government to ensure that the solutions implemented are effective.
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.
Ever since the Ontario Medical Association was mandated by the government to act as the bargaining agent for Ontario doctors, this profession has been subjected to undemocratic and disrespectful disregard by both the government and the OMA, which is supposed to be fighting for them from their corner, not fighting them in a courtroom.
Why does the government continue to refuse to "consent" to binding arbitration for doctors when it is part and parcel to the negotiation process for all other sectors, both public and private? Their refusal has led to the lengthy delay that has left doctors without an agreement for more than two years and has forced them to challenge the government under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In a country as diverse and varied as Canada, such a per capita funding model creates winners and losers. For provinces with flourishing economies and/or younger populations, the formula may be a welcome one. But for many provinces and territories, this funding formula fails to recognize and accommodate their particular challenges and needs.
Lets be honest. The tentative Physician Services Agreement negotiated between the OMA and the Ministry is not a good deal. Anyone with any experience in negotiation, law, or with any common sense can realize that this barely qualifies as a contract. But I'm voting yes, and I strongly encourage my colleagues to do the same.
With day-to-day demands, it's not surprising many of us forget to take a pill or put off refilling a prescription by a week or two. In other cases people stop taking their medication because they think it has done its job or is causing unpleasant side effects. I see this in my practice often, it's incredibly common but people often don't realize that these decisions could, in some cases, lead to serious complications.
The field of medicine is one of the most sought after professions in this country, with admission rates around 26 - 28% of domestic applicants in a given year gaining acceptance to a Canadian medical school. Given such a low admissions rate, there are far fewer positions than qualified applicants. How, then, should we choose those who are admitted to medical school?
Our teeth and gums are part of our body, and poor oral health affects our overall health and well-being. Primary mouth care is not covered under OHIP, and hospitals are not equipped to deliver dental care. Ontario only has public dental programs for low income children under 18, and a patchwork of basic services for people receiving social assistance.
Critics have begun pointing the finger at the medical system and its prescribers -- well-meaning doctors and specialists who've been giving too many patients excessively powerful opioid medications to deal with modest pain. But we can dig deeper and look at the relationship between medical education and pharmaceutical company influence as a significant contributing factor.