(WINDSOR, ON) – Ontario’s doctors say they are continuing the planning for job action; something which would only become necessary if the Ontario government reneges on its promises.
In a news release, the Ontario Medical Association says it does not take its preparations lightly. Although, in terms the provincial government’s latest announcement, it is a very positive development, but they must remain cautious.
The OMA’s concerns centre around, “… so many years of [government] refusal to accept the need for a fair and independent binding dispute resolution process. [The doctors] are concerned that the government will not follow through and provide doctors with access to a process that is available to all other essential service providers in the province.”
Ontario’s doctors, the OMA adds, “… have been subjected to unilateral cuts and restrictions by the provincial government not once, but twice in recent years. The province has placed significant restrictions on new family doctors and their ability to practice in the group-based model in which they were trained. And we face the prospects of more cuts and more imposed restrictions, which will impact not only doctors but, more importantly, our patients.”
To solve the situation the doctors are calling for an independent arbitrator with the authority to consider the position of both parties and award a just and reasonable result.
Binding arbitration, the OMA says, “… would replace the current system, under which the government can act unilaterally and under which physicians have no choice but to consider taking job action in response. It would provide a fair and independent arbitration process for resolving differences between the government and doctors.”
The Ontario Medical Association wants patients to understand there is a possibility of job action. Although, if it happens, the OMA assures, “… that even if physicians are forced to resort to job action, urgent medical care will not be threatened or compromised in any job action.”
No other details were released regarding what the job action could entail.