(April 1, 2014, Toronto, Ontario) – Dr. Douglas Mark, Interim President of DoctorsOntario, today called upon the Government of Ontario to stop treating doctors like fools. Dr. Mark made the comments after the latest Physician Services Agreement expired on March 31, 2014, at the stroke of midnight. As a result of the master agreement expiring without a new one having been negotiated to take its place, doctors will once again be expected to work without a contract, while the Government and the Ontario Medical Association try to figure a way out of this mess.
“Here we are, another April Fool’s Day,” Dr. Mark said, “and it turns out the joke’s on us . . . again. Who else but doctors would put up with this kind of garbage? Enough is enough. It’s time the Government stopped treating doctors like fools and tried showing us a little respect for a change.”
Contract talks began between representatives of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ontario Medical Association in earnest in early January of 2014. Unfortunately, due to the unstable political climate at Queen’s Park, very little has been accomplished to date, as the Government doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to get a deal done before the next election.
“Premier Wynne and Minister Matthews, doctors are the glue that’s been holding the system together for the past three decades,” Dr. Mark said. “Without us, you don’t have a healthcare system—plain and simple. Instead of finding new ways to nickel-and-dime us to death—and put our patients’ health at risk, at the same time—you might actually try speaking with some frontline doctors once in a while in order to find out what’s really going on out there.”
Dr. Mark went on to warn against the health minister trying to impose a deal on doctors like she did in the spring of 2012, reminding everyone that the game has changed since the formation of DoctorsOntario in December of 2013. The upstart new group is keen on taking over the negotiating function from the Ontario Medical Association—even going so far as to enlist the aid of former Toronto Police Association President and current President of the Building Union of Canada, Craig Bromell, as their chief negotiator and advisor—should the current talks break down completely and the Government wants to find a new partner to negotiate with.
“Patients need to understand that the Government equates silence with acquiescence,” Dr. Mark said. “Remember, this is your healthcare system. It doesn’t belong to the bean-counters, it doesn’t belong to the doctors, and it most certainly doesn’t belong to the politicians. But unless you’re willing to take a stand and speak up on behalf of yourself and on behalf of your own doctor, then I’m afraid the premier and the health minister will continue to behave in this way.”
DoctorsOntario is a member-driven, grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the rights, freedoms and independence of Ontario physicians and their patients by promoting sustainable healthcare policies and practices that safeguard accessibility and the highest standards of medical care. For more information, please visit its website at doctorsontario.ca.
Author: DoctorsOntarioView Original Article