The Credit Valley & Mississauga Medical Society Update
The Credit Valley and Mississauga Medical Societies are two of ten medical societies that make up District 5. Together we represent about 1550 doctors in the area surrounding Trillium Health Partners (THP) who may or may not be affiliated with THP.
Please take a few moments to read this update on your District 5 Medical Society and a brief summary of topics of interest from the OMA in general.
On March 1, 2018 an Annual General Meeting was held at the Mississauga Living Arts Center where Mr. Ted Bober from the OMA Physician Health Program gave an excellent presentation on Physician Wellness and Finding the Joy in Medicine. Although turnout was limited, the talk was well received and the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) will be producing a video mini-series which will be available to all OMA members addressing and promoting the important issue of wellness and burnout that is facing our medical profession.
On the weekend of April 27th, the OMA held it’s biannual meeting of Council. A number of updates and committee reports were presented to Council Delegates. There continues to be a sense of unity with the purpose of modernizing and making the OMA more member representative. Below is a brief summary of active issues:
OMA Council Consultation Session
Over 150 Council delegates attended a session to help guide the future of Council, the body representing members of the OMA. There was a robust conversation surrounding updating the role of Council, scope of work and to review the governance structure of Council. The modernization of Council will improve the general organization and representation of membership and ways to improve meeting efficiency and communication between council meetings. The Council and Governance Steering Committee will bring their recommendations to the fall council meeting in November 2018. This will naturally follow the Board and Corporate governance review which have already taken place and the results of which will be enacted upon over the next 12-18 months.
In his outgoing address, Dr. Shawn Whatley highlighted the progress the OMA has made in the last year and stressed that physicians continue to face one of the most challenging times. We need to remain proud and convinced of our vision, we need to be aware of our political environment, and committed to work together and persevere.
Dr. Nadia Alam, a Family Doctor and Anesthetist from Georgetown, painted a picture of the work to be done and commended all those working to help transform not only the OMA, but the broader healthcare system. She recognized the strain doctors are under and that the status quo is unacceptable. She talked about current physician sentiments including feelings of powerlessness and disrespect by government, patients and even by colleagues. She also touched on the negative affect that additional political and administrative work has on our lives. Finally she stressed the importance of a strong an influential OMA and the need to keep making small steps in the right direction with patience and persistence.
Dr. Sohail Gandhi, a family doctor from Stayner, was elected as President Elect as guided by the referendum leading up to elections. He is very much a grass roots advocate and an excellent communicator and writer. We look forward to his strong advocacy for physicians and to continue to lead the OMA in a more representative direction.
Negotiations between the OMA and MOH started in September 2017. At Council the delegates received an update from Mr. Goldblatt, the Lead Negotiator. After a period of negotiation and mediation we have entered an arbitration process that will begin May 24thand 25th and several meetings into the fall of 2018. The positions and progress of arbitration is available publically and updates can be obtained via the OMA communications or by visiting the OMA website. Arbitration will take place in two phases. During the first phase the arbitrator will deal with issues including fee increases, redress of previous clawbacks and preventing the capping of the physician services budget. Phase two will address relativity of income between specialties among other details. Recognizing the importance of relativity, there will be an upcoming special meeting of council devoted to this topic. There is widespread agreement that a more balanced relativity scale is needed.
After the Provincial election, the government could apply to adjourn the arbitration process but will be unable to unless both parties agree. We have been reassured that the government would have to make a very strong case for the arbitration board to grant an adjournment. If the government makes a substantive offer during the arbitration process that offer would be given consideration.
The Charter Challenge is on track and continues to move forward. It was launched in October 2015 and will address financial damages and condemnation of government actions. It was also launched to ensure that we have a binding arbitration mechanism in place for future contracts
Communications and Advocacy Update
The branding campaign “In Sickness and in Health” was recently launched. The objective of this campaign is to solidify support for doctors and highlight the unique relationship between doctors and their patients. Nanos research has revealed that the metrics on this campaign have been positive and public support for doctors has increased.
In anticipation of the spring election, another campaign titled “Not a Second Longer,” was launched focusing on the upcoming election. It highlights the importance of physicians working together with government to help shape the healthcare system and the wait time crisis in Ontario while drawing attention to poor government decisions in the past.
The OMA has initiated work on a retirement savings plan for members and their spouses. It will be self funded using RRSPs and TFSAs as vehicles. This will be a low fee service and will have the future ability to add government contributions over time if that option presents. This is not a defined benefit or defined contribution plan and may not be attractive to all physicians. It is not meant to replace existing retirement plans, but to be used as an additional tool in retirement planning. A final proposal will be presented for approval in the fall of 2018 with possible implementation in 2019.
CPSO Task Force
A CPSO task force has been struck to identify the key stressors impacting physicians and ways to mitigate the stressors. They will also identify areas for improvement within the CPSO complaints and investigations process including ways of expediting it.
Throughout the year, the District 5 delegates will continue to meet on a regular basis on post-board teleconference calls as well as in person twice a year at OMA Council weekend in November and May. We are exploring ways to bring you more content at a local level, which may include video conferencing or a video conference presentation on a topic of interest.
We will continue to actively advocate and represent your best interests in our communities advocating both within the OMA and politically with all parties for physicians. We continue to work towards enhancing communication and engagement within the district.
Lastly, it is important for your District 5 and Branch Society representatives to be able to communicate with you during OMA blackout periods. By visiting the following link you can opt-in so that your District 5 and Branch Society representatives can send you information during this sometimes crucial times: https://api.oma.org/member/MyAccountApp/constituency-email-service.
Your support is needed and greatly encouraged. Please contact us with any questions or suggestions.
Mississauga Medical Society
President – Dr. Rohit Kumar
Vice President – Dr. Michael Kates
Secretary/Treasurer – Dr. Mark Lee
Credit Valley Medical Society
President – Dr. Deepa Soni
Vice President – Dr. Carol Temins