Rather than show real leadership and work with physicians, the Liberals, desperate to increase their popularity and to cover up their mismanagement of the health-care system, have chosen to vilify the one group of people that could reasonably have helped not only them, but the people of Ontario, in improving the health-care system.
Researchers estimate we lose more than 400 doctors per year in the U.S. to suicide (an entire med school) and 150 med students yearly. We're a highly regulated profession. Doctors are tracked endlessly and publicly shamed if we veer off course in any way, and if we die by suicide, suddenly it's like we never existed.
Allowing people to opt out of obeying the law on religious grounds can be a slippery slope. You can't oppose anti-discrimination laws because your religion tells you, or you think your religion tells you, that women are inferior, or that LGBTIQ people are sinners. You can't commit violent acts because your religion tells you, or you think your religion tells you, that infidels should be punished.
Chances are that if you have been a patient in a large metropolitan hospital or are regularly treated in a teaching clinic, you have interacted with a resident doctor. Medical residency is that crucial period between our first days as newly-certified doctors and emerging as full-fledged, licensed physicians.
Proving it's easier to announce an action plan than implement one, parts of the B.C. health ministry's 2011 plan "to strengthen physician hiring and oversight and enhance public confidence" remain bogged down to this day in consultations.
For many decades, physicians themselves have resisted unionization. There's never been an article written on why, but my sense is that for whatever reason, they felt unions were "beneath" them somehow as professionals. I've also had more senior physicians express to me concerns about a loss of independence if one were in a union.
Ontario's College of Physicians and Surgeons receives numerous deeply concerning reports of doctors sexually abusing their patients each year despite the adoption of a "zero tolerance" approach to such abuse 20 years ago. This persistent problem has eroded public trust in doctor self-regulation.
Alleging the need to improve certain primary care metrics, Hoskins' paper rolls out a basis for a "discussion" and "engagement process" that is based on the Price Report. However, what's clear is that not only is Hoskins acting in a duplicitous manner, he hasn't actually looked at what patients want.
While interviewing a Sunnybrook surgeon a few months ago, the topic of superstitions came up. He told me that similar to the general public, superstitions are common among medical practitioners. Studies have shown that superstitions are more prevalent in professions and circumstances with higher degrees of uncertainty.
Health Minister Eric Hoskins is correct to some extent: Ontario physicians are paid more today than they were a decade ago -- but to what extent is unclear. What evidence is there that proves we got a 61 per cent raise? I find it suspect that nobody can reproduce this number.