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Doctors' Group Demands Clarification From Miller Regarding Opting Out

April 30, 1985


The Medical Reform Group of Ontario, a group of 150 pro-medicare physicians, today demanded that Premier Frank Miller clarify his stand on opting out.

Miller sent individual letters to Ontario doctors on April 22 [see below] saying:

"My position is clear. Doctors are not civil servants. The right to opt out is a symbolic principle even for the doctors who choose to take part in OHIP."

However, Miller responded to a question from the Globe and Mail on April 27th by saying,
"I can't say whether we will or will not be continuing with OHIP extra billing."

We are concerned the Premier is telling doctors what they want to hear and the people of Ontario something else. At present, because of the Canada Health Act, Ottawa is withholding $50 million from Ontario as a penalty for extra billing.

Contact: Dr. Michael Rachlis

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Premier Miller's letter:

Frank S. Miller
Premier of Ontario

April 22, 1985
Dr. Donald Woodside
1 Young St., Apt. 411 Hamilton, Ontario L8N 1T8
Dear Dr. Woodside:

As Premier of Ontario I am proud of the high quality of our healthcare system. In co-operation with the doctors of our province we have built a system of medical care that recognizes the needs of both the medical community and the people of Ontario.

We have not forced our doctors to work within OHIP. Since the start of medicare in Ontario, the Provincial Government has followed a course of negotiation rather than confrontation.

While the Canada Health Act has caused Ottawa to withhold $50 million a year in healthcare funding, our system has remained strong and sensitive to improvements in medical science and services.

My position is clear. Doctors are not civil servants. The right to opt out is a symbolic principle even for doctors who choose to take part in OHIP.

On May 2, I ask you to support your Progressive Conservative candidate in your riding. Together we can continue to provide quality health services that are a model for much of the world.

Sincerely,

Frank Miller

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