Ontario docs are leaving – patients have trouble finding good doctors

{December 18, 2012}   COFPS goes on offensive changing name to “DoctorsOntario”


‘Many of you aren’t very happy right now with the way the OMA has been representing you,’ coalition says
Written by Jered Stuffco on December 17, 2012 for The Medical Post

TORONTO | A group of doctors unhappy with the Ontario Medical Association’s handling of the new fee deal is creating a rival group aimed at challenging the OMA’s representation of the province’s physicians.

The Coalition of Ontario Family Physicians and Surgeons (COFPS) has repeatedly attacked the OMA over its tactics and is now seeking to offer doctors an alternative, calling their new group DoctorsOntario.

Whatever they are calling themselves, the coalition has done nothing more than protest and naysay“Whether you voted yes or no in the recent OMA membership referendum on the new Physician Services Agreement, many of you aren’t very happy right now with the way the OMA has been representing you,” said Dr. Doug Mark, head of COFPS, in a letter.

Dr. Mark accused the OMA of simply seeking money, with the group collecting an estimated $40 million in membership dues next year.

Responding to the COFPS announcement, OMA president Dr. Doug Weir said the re-brand is a “deliberately misleading name-change” at a time when the OMA is engaging with doctors. “Whatever they are calling themselves, the coalition has done nothing more than protest and naysay,” he told the Medical Post in a phone interview on Monday.

Dr. Weir added that 54% of Ontario physicians took part in the recent fee vote and 81% of those voted in favour of the deal that the OMA negotiated—the highest level of engagement since the early 1990s.

Dr. Weir said DoctorsOntairo “is a non-elected group who are going to confuse doctors.”

This is latest in a long string of attacks on the OMA.

The new name, DoctorsOntario, also appears to be a salvo against the official nature of the OMA, as some provincial medical organizations have rebranded to shorter names in recent years such as Doctors Manitoba and Doctors Nova Scotia.

Dr. Weir said the OMA briefly thought about shortening their name a few years ago, but after polling members, decided to keep the moniker they’ve held for more than 130 years.

Earlier this fall, COFPS accused the OMA of making a side deal with the province that would make them the only official negotiating body.

Dr. Mark, who will not lead the new group but will provide advice and guidance, also asked doctors to vote against the recent fee deal because he said it would prove “how easy it is (for the government) to bully doctors.”

He said in an interview that COFPS will evolve into DoctorsOntario next year, since the group has decided that representing doctors, rather than simply attacking the OMA, is what they should focus on.

Membership in DoctorsOntario will cost $200 for the year, but interested parties who sign up with COFPS by Jan. 31, 2013 will see their membership transferred to membership in DoctorsOntario.

Dr. Mark added that COFPS has between 500 and 1,000 paying members, but reaches out to several thousand physicians who sometimes let their membership lapse.

Meanwhile, the membership fee in the OMA for 2013 will rise to $1,930 this year for non-credit card payments.










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