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.
Ontario needs genuine health-system reform. Instead we get the Patients First Act. Doctors are hopping mad. So we are turning our backs on those who willfully ignore our warnings and our advice. They will now stand alone as their committees waste more time and taxpayer money on a sketchy health-care "transformation."
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.
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.
The OMA ramped up their aggressive endorsement: ads appeared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Calls for a balanced discussion were met with threats from the OMA: "it's either the PSA or more cuts." Rules govern how such votes occur. The OMA's methods rigged the votes towards a "yes," seemingly breaching them all.
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?
We shared recipes and simple ideas for students (and their parents) to make healthy, yummy, affordable food. Because fast food won't change -- it's made by scientists in white lab coats to be as cheap and addictive as possible -- the only way to stick it to fast food is to replace fast food with quick and delicious real food.
A little over a month ago I was invited to a food industry breakfast to offer my comments on how the food industry might help in improving the health of our society. Unfortunately, just three days prior to the event, I was uninvited without the courtesy of an explanation or an apology. So I decided to record my talk and post it online.
The biggest target of obesity in North America? Soda. Many experts now claim that soda is the new tobacco -- indeed, Google those terms and you get more than 7 million hits. For them, Coke is the new Camel. Let me take a step back and note the basic problem in fighting obesity like we fought tobacco.
The Ontario government has promised to reduce its $16-billion deficit substantially over the next few years, and tackling health-care cost growth has to be part of the solution.In response, the Canadian Medical Association has speculated that doctors may move to jurisdictions where physician earnings are on the rise, and that wait times in Ontario may increase as a result of the cuts.