TORONTO — The opposition parties accuse the Ontario government of needlessly picking a fight with doctors by imposing fee cuts, which they warn will mean longer waiting lists for patients. Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown says the Liberals have taken another $235 million from "patient care" by cutting the fees paid to doctors, and have cut a total of $800 million from health care this year alone. The New Democrats say the Liberal government is determined to paint every single physician as "money hungry and opportunistic," which they insist is simply wrong. NDP health critic France Gelinas says the government needs to recognize that doctors should be properly compensated for the care they provide. Deputy Premier Deb Matthews says Ontario's doctors — who make an average of $368,000 a year — are the highest paid in Canada and "arguably" in the world, and cutting their fees will mean more money for patients and programs such as home care. The Ontario Medical Association says the province has reduced funding for physician services by 6.9 per cent since February, including across-the-board fee cuts and a number of targeted cuts that affect specific specialties.
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