Aug 15, 2016

By Christine Ross

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Ontario’s Health Minister is disappointed the province’s doctors have voted to reject a new fee agreement with the province. Dr. Eric Hoskins says that although the government respects the outcome of the vote, the result is regrettable. He adds all parties must reflect carefully on the next steps in the coming weeks. 63.1 per cent of OMA members voted against the four-year deal.The vote means the OMA will immediately request a meeting with the provincial government to communicate its expectations for renewed negotiations. Dr. Nadia Alam with the group Concerned Ontario Doctors, voted no to the deal. She was a guest on Fight Back on Zoomer radio with host Libby Znaimer. Dr. Alam says since 2005, there have been cuts to the province’s ‘wait time strategy’ creating longer waits for tests and procedures. And since 1975, she says there have been dramatic funding cuts to hospitals and doctors. Doctors voting against the deal say the 2.5 percent increase in the pool of money shared by doctors is not enough for patient care. Ballots were cast Sunday during a town hall-style meeting in which doctors argued over the agreement, which would increase Ontario’s $11.5-billion physician services budget by 2.5 per cent a year.It would also prohibit any more unilateral fee cuts by the government.The OMA says 55 per cent of its membership participated in the vote.

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