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Ontarians can give feedback on the government's proposal for online renewal until June 5.
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doctors pushing for job action continually draw a link between a new physician contract and improved patient care, a link that is tenuous at best and a sly marketing tool at worst. A physician contract is about physician income. If doctors take job action, it will be to increase the amount they are paid by tax payers.
It's shocking that he took something as complex as a broken health-care system and twisted it into a story complete with a bad guy and a motive in less than 140 characters. Flippant statements let people - important people like those in government - ignore the danger. And then, they don't have to fix it.
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Surgeons had to cancel life-saving operations for some children.
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Ontario Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk recently released her annual report which indicated the number of children and youth hospitalized with mental health concerns increased by 50 per cent since 2009 and that the government spent close to $10 million to send 127 youth to the U.S. for treatment due to a shortage of psychiatrists here.
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In this contentious environment, a bit of calm, practical thinking has been welcome in the profession. Since last week, hundreds of physicians have gone online at aWayForward.ca to urge doctors and the government to move ahead using five practical principles as a core of the discussion.
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."
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The reason I care what my provincial government does is simple: health care in Ontario is in a downward spiral -- I see it everywhere, even in my small town family medicine practice. At this point, the government must step up and stabilize the situation. I've been in independent practice for seven years. In that short time, I have watched resources dwindle.
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Many voting against the PSA argue that a fixed budget prevents physicians from providing necessary care to patients. No one is suggesting this. Patients who need care will be seen, necessary tests and surgeries will be done, family and specialist clinics will still see patients and physicians will continue to get paid to provide these services.
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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.
Merits and failings of the contract aside, many wonder about the aftermath of this vote. Ratify the contract and what -- ration care and pinch pennies? Reject the contract and what -- face a vengeful government's unilateral cuts? The uncertainty inherent in the contract is mirrored by the uncertainty of the unilateral actions that we have weathered for the past 18 months.
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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.
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Part of this strategy includes something that makes us all uncomfortable and would make any politician unpopular very quickly if they ever suggested it: patient, government and physician accountability. We all take responsibility for making our health care system sustainable. Seems simple in principle, but what would that really look like?
Every corporation in Ontario, whether public or private, that has a sick note policy is taking advantage of you, the taxpayer, by offloading the cost of their policy onto the health care system. You, dear taxpayer, are subsidizing the cost of their business. So, how does one change that?