TORONTO, March 28, 2022 /CNW/ – Ontario’s doctors have ratified a new three-year agreement with the province that addresses many of the most important issues for patients and physicians and positions doctors to continue leading health-care transformation.
The Physician Services Agreement between the Ontario Medical Association and the Ministry of Health covers the period between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2024. It includes:
- A permanent framework for virtual care by telephone and video, when appropriate. Both patients and physicians have found virtual care to be effective, efficient and convenient during the pandemic.
- Provisions for more family doctors to join Family Health Organizations, groups of physicians who work together to give patients better access to primary care services. More than 1 million Ontarians do not have a primary care physician, making it difficult for them to get ongoing care and checkups or access to the rest of the health-care system.
- Improved parental leave benefits, which will allow early and mid-career physicians to spend more time with their families and help address both work-life balance and physician burnout.
“As the representatives of Ontario’s doctors, the OMA welcomes this historic decision, which was the first time all 43,000 members were empowered to vote directly on an agreement with the government,” said OMA CEO Allan O’Dette. “This agreement will bring stability to the health-care system at a time when we need to focus on clearing the backlog of 21 million patient care services created by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The agreement also commits the OMA and the government to work on other important issues such as modernizing the OHIP Schedule of Benefits, taking into consideration time, intensity, complexity, risk and technical skills required for various medical services.
Significantly, the government agreed for the first time that the mandate of the joint OMA-government Physician Payment Committee explicitly includes taking the necessary steps to achieve gender pay equity. Research by the OMA found that female physicians, on average, bill 13.5 per cent less on a daily basis than their male counterparts.
The agreement provides for a one per cent increase in each of the first two years of the agreement. The Year 3 increase will be determined based on the difference between what physician expenditures were expected to be in 2023-24 had there not been a pandemic and what actual expenditures turn out to be. Physician expenditures are primarily what physicians bill the government for providing care under OHIP.
“This agreement represents an important milestone for shared co-operation between physicians and the government for the future of health care in the province,” said OMA President Dr. Adam Kassam. “Physicians have been working tirelessly during the pandemic and this deal will allow us to continue to focus on providing excellent patient care while supporting the recovery of our health-care system for years to come.”
Ontario’s doctors are committed to working with the government and other partners to both clear the pandemic backlog and fix the cracks in the health-care system that widened during the pandemic. The OMA offers solutions for all these issues that must be addressed in the next four years in its Prescription for Ontario: Doctors’ 5-Point Plan for Better Health Care.
About the OMA
The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario’s 43,000-plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario’s health-care system.
SOURCE Ontario Medical Association
For further information: Leslie Shepherd, Director, Earned and social media, Ontario Medical Association, [email protected]