Physicians put patients first each and every day.  When people are sick or unwell, we see it not only as our duty, but our responsibility to take care of your health.

In the spring of 2014 our Physician Services Contract expired.  The year before in 2013, physicians agreed to a pay cut and to work with the government to help find ways to reduce the cost of healthcare without impacting patient care.  Since then physicians have worked hard and found ways to decrease the cost of healthcare.  Despite this, the Ontario Liberal Government has chosen to further unilaterally cut over 1 billion dollars in funding to the Healthcare system.  Although the total healthcare budget has increased, it has not kept up with inflation or population growth.  This underfunding will have a direct impact on the quality of healthcare delivered in Ontario.

We agreed to do our share and the Ontario’s Liberal’s have not acted in good faith.  In fact they have gone on to vilify and disrespect the physicians of Ontario.  The divisive rhetoric by the government must stop.  This is unwarranted, inappropriate and detrimental to restoring the collaborative and constructive approach that Ontario’s physicians have had with the government in the past.  Ontario’s patients and physicians deserve nothing less.

Ontario’s physicians want a fair and reasonable process to negotiate with the government. Unilateral action is not fair or reasonable. Physicians would like to have the right to binding arbitration where an independent third party would resolve the gap that lies in our negotiations.  We believe that using an independent third party would be fair and reasonable.  Binding arbitration would provide a framework by which we can strengthen patient focused care.  It is also respectful to the valuable contribution that physicians make to the healthcare system.  In the fall of 2015 the Ontario Medical Association launched a Charter Challenge with the Supreme Court of Canada to ask for this right.

Instead of working with Ontario physicians, the Ontario Liberal government has decided to try to publically defame physicians by touting misleading statements all the while continuing to inadequately fund healthcare. The Ontario government is not making healthcare funding a priority, and this is evident from the last provincial budget.  The system needs more, not less funding.  More nurses, more beds, more support services, not less.  Physicians have not been asking for a raise, in fact, we have taken a voluntary pay cut in the past.   We want the government to respect the healthcare workers of Ontario and provide the resources we need to deliver your care safely.

Physicians have tried to work with the Health Minister however Ontario’s Liberal’s are trying to solve the increasing health costs without the input of physicians.  The Ontario Liberal government is unfairly putting patients at risk with ongoing cuts to Ontario’s healthcare.  Physicians are extremely disappointed and frustrated with their actions.  All healthcare workers, not only physicians, are worried about the further decline in the quality of healthcare that is accessible to the people of Ontario.

Despite ongoing inadequate funding to Ontario’s healthcare by the Provincial government physicians will continue to do the best we can to take care of your health.  We have taken an oath to do so.

Visit: www.putontariospatientsfirst.com for more information.