Ontario docs are leaving – patients have trouble finding good doctors

{December 9, 2012}   Ontario Docs do as they’re told – Agree to Paycuts and Government Practice Controls


Vol. 17, No. 47

December 9, 2012


Agreements Ratified!

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to inform you that the 2012 Physician Services Agreement and OMA Representation and Negotiation Rights Agreement are now ratified. At a Special Meeting held earlier today, OMA Council — guided by the results of the membership referendum — voted to ratify the Agreements, and implementation work will begin immediately.

81% of members expressed support for the Agreements. Overall 20,812 members cast ballots (a 54% participation rate), which is the highest number of voters ever in an OMA referendum. The results will be posted on the OMA website and broken out according to Section, Branch Society, Age and Gender (www.oma.org/tentativePSA).

The Association made a very determined effort to provide as much detail and feedback as possible to members to make an informed decision. This included comprehensive documents on the OMA website, opinion letters from Section, Board, District and Branch leaders, teleconferences and webinars, and 30 face to face meetings hosted by the OMA Negotiations Team, Board and staff.

Also, we made every effort to ensure that it was as simple and convenient as possible for members to vote, and to encourage your participation.  Please accept my apologies for the increased volume of communications during the last two weeks.

I want to personally thank all members who took the time to get involved and vote. Your engagement in the process provided clear direction to Council, and will inform the leadership of the Association as we look ahead to implementing these contracts, and preparing for the next round of framework bargaining.

In considering its decision today, Council acknowledged that some groups and Sections have voiced concerns about various aspects of these Agreements.

On behalf of the OMA Board, I want to emphasize that we recognize and appreciate these concerns, and we will continue to work with members and Sections, directly and through the bilateral process with government, to address particular issues going forward.

These are challenging times in health care, and in our economy. I believe members recognize the protections in these Agreements, and the important bridge they provide in looking ahead to future negotiations.

These Agreements will provide an important foundation for us to restore a collaborative and constructive relationship with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. We need to get back on that path, and work together to make the health-care system better for doctors and patients.

This has been an exceptionally challenging year for physicians and our Association. In the face of an unprecedented attack, we maintained our dignity and professionalism. I believe we have shown outstanding leadership and collective strength and focus. Thank you for your continuing support.

In closing, I would like to echo the appreciation and thanks expressed today by Council for the OMA negotiations team: Dr. Wayne Tanner and Dr. Scott Wooder (co-chairs), Dr. Gail Beck, Dr. Pete Bonin, Dr. Atul Kapur, Dr. Paul Coolican, negotiations adviser Brian Burkett, our CEO Ron Sapsford, and Catherine Dowdall and the staff in the OMA Negotiations Department.

We will report more on Agreement implementation in the coming days.

Dr. Doug Weir

OMA President




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