By Dr Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
(TORONTO, ON) – I am disappointed that the Ontario Medical Association has rejected our proposal after one year of hard work and good faith negotiations. Enormous effort was made to arrive at a collaborative solution, including engaging the services of a conciliator, former Chief Justice Warren Winkler, who worked with both parties during the last weeks of the negotiation process.
Winkler’s independent assessment, as provided in his written report was that the offer presented to the OMA is good for Ontarians, good for the health care system, and fair to doctors. His report unequivocally recommended that the Ontario Medical Association accept the government’s fair offer.
Demographics in this province are shifting and our approaches to health care must adapt to meet these demands. We are committed to ensuring Ontarians have the right care, at the right time, and in the right place.
We are increasing the amount we spend each year on health care in this province. But in this time of fiscal constraint, any new spending must prioritize services such as home care and community care.
Ontario’s doctors provide outstanding service and care. For this they are deservedly well compensated and that will continue to be the case. At the same time, our government has been clear that all public sector partners will need to continue to work together to effectively manage compensation costs within Ontario’s existing fiscal framework.
Unfortunately, in rejecting this agreement, the Ontario Medical Association has left the government with little option but to move forward with a plan to manage physician compensation. It will not reduce quality of care or access to services.
Under this plan, compensation for physicians will not increase, achieving our goal of staying within our net zero compensation framework.
The plan does include a modest increase in spending on physician services that will allow Ontario’s health care system to add 700 new doctors, while addressing increasing demand due to a growing and aging population.
I am confident that doctors in this province understand how important it is to apply our health care dollars fairly and in a way that puts patients and their needs first. I believe our doctors are prepared to do their part in order to allow us to invest scarce dollars in more community care, expanded home care services, and greater supports for mental health, among other priorities.