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News Release

The OHIP Fee Schedule Dispute:
The Position of the
Medical Reform Group of Ontario

The Medical Reform Group of Ontario, a group of Ontario Physicians concerned about the challenges faced by Medicare in the 1980's, are disturbed by the effect the current OHIP fee dispute may have on the province's Health Service. We see a number of factors contributing to the current impasse between the government and the O.M.A. These include:
a)The arbitrary imposition of a 3 year fee settlement by the Ontario Government.
b)The concerted strategy of the O.M.A. to disrupt health services and waste OHIP's resources which started 2 months before the current fee schedule had expired.
c)The failure of both the government and the O.M.A. to negotiate in good faith, and their reluctance to abide by any jointly negotiated agreement.

The MRG believes that for there to be a satisfactory long term solution to the problem of physician remuneration, the following are necessary.
a)The government and the O.M.A. should enter into negotiations that will be conducted according to recognized labour practise.
b)If no agreement can be reached by this process, the issues should be submitted to an independent arbitrator, acceptable to both sides, whose decision would be binding on both parties.
c)Any individual physician who was unwilling to accept the final agreement would have the right to charge higher fees, but neither the physician nor his patient would be reimbursed by OHIP for any part of that fee.
d)At this stage, the MRG does not see the O.M.A.'s 'work action' as a valid alternative to direct negotiation. We deplore any action taken by the O.M.A. or the government that might affect patient care, directly or indirectly, or undermine the universal access to free high quality Health Care that Ontario residents have come to expect.
e)As part of a longer term solution to the problem of physician remuneration, the government should consider alternative forms of payment, such as capitation fees, salaries or global budgets to prevent the situation recurring.

The goal of all physicians, consumers and the government should be to strengthen and support our Medicare service.

For further information please contact
Dr. Nick Kates
Dr. Bob James

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