OMA: PROVINCE COULD SOON FACE PRIMARY CARE CRISIS

Apr 17, 2020

By Bob Komsic

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The Ontario Medical Association, which represents doctors in the province, says a poll of its members indicates almost half primary-care clinics are at risk of closing because doctors cannot pay the bills.
Most clinics have been seeing patients through virtual appointments, such as over the phone, whenever possible to limit potential exposures to COVID-19.
The Ford government created new billing codes to allow doctors to be paid for those appointments.
However, they recently discovered the government’s computer system will not be updated to accommodate those codes until June or July.
That leaves doctors with no way to pay for rent, staff and other expenses, according to OMA President Dr. Sohail Gandhi, who worries should clinics start closing that may lead to a primary-care crisis.
Health Minister Christine Elliott acknowledges the problem, saying she’s talking with the OMA to find a solution.
”We are looking for a solution that is going to work for doctors in Ontario and we hope to have that solution available very soon,’ said Elliott.
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