ONTARIO GOVERNMENT COMES TO TERMS WITH DOCTORS ON NEW DEAL

Jul 11, 2016

By Christine Ross

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A tentative agreement has been reached between the province and the Ontario Medical Association. Ontario and its doctors reached a tentative four-year agreement, including a clause to jointly update doctors’ fees. The Liberal government’s relationship with doctors has been tense since it unilaterally imposed some fee cuts last year. Ontario Medical Association president Dr. Virginia Walley says it’s a very important part of the agreement that the two sides will work together on the fees. The province budgets more than $11 billion annually for physician compensation and the new deal would see both sides co-manage the physician services budget. A government release says the four-year deal contains annual increases to the budget for doctors’ services — but it doesn’t include the amount of the increases. The deal, which is set for a ratification vote in August, also includes funding for hiring more doctors and improving access to primary care physicians. But the release says the O-M-A will continue its charter challenge asking Ontario Superior Court to strike down the health ministry’s unilateral fee cuts to doctors last year and find that future bargaining impasses must be resolved through binding resolution.

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