Press Release on the Physicians
Strike from the Medical Reform Group of Ontario
The Medical Reform Group represents the views of physicians
concerned about the challenges faced by Medicare in the I980's .
We believe Universal Access to Free, High Quality Health Care is
the right of all Ontario Residents.
PHYSICIAN'S GROUP SEES ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF SETTLING CURRENT
The Medical Reform Group disagrees with the decision taken by the
O.M.A. to initiate a 2 day strike to settle the current pay dispute
and believe the issues can still be resolve through negotiation.
By focusing on the single issue of physician's pay it is easy to
lose sight of the fact that physicians have longstanding and justified
grievances with many other aspects of our Medicare system. These
include the lack of incentive to practise preventive health care,
the manner in which O.H.I.P. itself is administered and reductions
in the health and social service budget that leaves Ontario spending
less per capita on these areas than any other province.
Although the O.M.A.'s dispute is with the government, it is their
patients, with whom fee-for-service practitioners have individual
contracts, who will bear the brunt of the doctors sanctions. In
the short term the public will suffer; in the long term Medicare
can only be weakened, and physician patient relationships damaged.
The M.R.G. recognises that many physicians are unhappy about having
to take strike action, yet wish to see the dispute settled speedily.
We believe there are other options open to both sides, and would
now like to see the following.
1) Every effort should be made to resolve the impasse at the negotiating
table. If this is not possible, the issues should be submitted to
an independent arbitrator, acceptable to both sides, who's decision
would be binding on all concerned.
2) Any doctor who disagreed with the new fee schedule would have
the right to charge a higher amount, but neither the physician nor
the patient would receive reimbursement from O.H.I.P. for any part
of that fee.
3) The other problems Medicare faces should be addressed now. The
government should immediately set up a review of both the administration
of O.H.I.P. and alternative forms of physician remuneration, such
as salary or capitation fees, as part of a lasting settlement.
4) The government should set up long-term discussions to examine
the entire range of problems faced by Medicare. These should involve
the government, representatives of the Medical community including
the M.R.G., other health workers and, where relevant, health consumers.
5) To prevent a recurrence of the current deadlock , the O.M.A.
and the government need to define and clarify their respective obligations
and responsibilities for any future rounds of negotiations.
6) If the O.M.A. does intend to use mass action as a bargaining
tool on a future occasion they should consider reconstituting themselves
as a formal union, thereby accepting the ensuing benefits and responsibilities.
For any further information please contact:
Hamilton: Dr. Nick Kates
Toronto: Dr. Debbie Copes
Subject Headings: Abortion
Rights – Community
Health – Community
Health Centres – Drug
Substitution – Epidemiology
Medicine – Health
Administration – Health
Care Budgets – Health
Care Cost Containment – Health
Care Costs – Health
Care Delivery – Health
Care Finance & Fund-Raising – Health
Care in Canada – Health
Care in Ontario – Health
Care in the U.K. – Health
Care in the U.S. – Health
Care Myths – Health
Care Reform – Health
Care Resources – Health
Care Services – Health
Care Workers – Health
Clinics – Health
Determinants – Health
Economics – Health
Expenditures – Health
Issues – Health
Policy – Health
Service Organizations – Health/Social
Justice Issues – Health
Statistics – Health/Strategic
Planning – History
Medicine – Medical
Associations – Medical
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Education – Medical
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Human Resources – Medical
Personnel – Medical
Research Funding – Medicare
Use – Medication
Use/Seniors – NAFTA/Health
Health & Safety – Patients'
Rights – Pharmaceuticals
Compensation – Physician
Human Resources – Pro-Choice
Issues – Public
Health – Publications/Health
Policy – Women's
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