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News Release

The Medical Reform Group

March 17, 1979

The Medical Reform Group is a new Canadian organization of physicians and medical students. The group was formed to provide a voice for socially concerned doctors whose opinions were not represented by traditional medical associations.

Our programme is predicated upon the belief that access to high quality medical care should be a right, rather than a privilege. We believe the present organization of health care workers is undesirably hierarchical. The health care delivery system is hospital based, with no other outside facility for integrated patient care. Administration of the system is overly bureaucratic. Neither patient nor physician has a real say in policy making.

The medical community has tended to ignore the social roots of disease, and this has resulted in insufficient stress on preventative medicine in both medical education and practice.

We believe that a health care delivery system organized around community clinics could help solve some of these problems. Such clinics could operate under a global budget, be democratically run by staff and community members, and provide a wide range of medical, social, and educational services. The equally valuable contribution of all clinic workers would be recognized.

Advantages for the physician under such a system would include: a direct say in local resource allocation; the security of a guaranteed income; absence of pressure to see as many patients as possible in the shortest possible time; paid holiday, sick, and educational leave; an appropriate paid pension plan; availability of essential referral, consultative, and educational services in the same clinic building. None of these is part of the usual practice at present.

We believe that provincial health insurance premiums should be paid out of the general tax revenue, and should include drug and dental plans as well as those services presently covered.

Finally, we are committed to the elimination of social situations known to foster disease, such as poverty, and environmental and occupational hazards.

We welcome any correspondence and help. If you would like to receive information, or join, contact:

P.O. Box 366, Station J
Toronto, Ont. M4J 4Y8

Published in CMA JOURNAL/MARCH 17, 1979/Vol. 120

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