Ontario docs are leaving – patients have trouble finding good doctors

{May 2, 2013}   ‘We’ll see you in court’—N.B. docs throw the book at government


Written by DIANA DUONG on May 1, 2013 for The Medical Post
Doctors across Canada are showing supporting for the New Brunswick Medical Society’s struggle against the provincial government’s cuts to the medical services budget.
A letter addressed to Premier David Alward bears 14 signatures showing support from each provincial medical association and the national Canadian Medical Association, was sent today. New Brunswick’s physicians will address the issue at an emergency general meeting planned for May 3.
The letter calls for premier Alward to respect signed agreements and to collaborate with New Brunswick’s physicians to negotiate issues.
“Breaking a signed agreement with your doctors sends an ominous message that you believe you can proceed to make health care decisions without consulting the physicians who deliver the care,” states the open letter. “That is bad medicine.”
A feud between the government and physicians in the province has been brewing for months, and Health Minister Ted Flemming claimed in March he was told to “stick it” by doctors over budget talks.
Last month, medicare billings were cut by $18.8 million for the 2013-14 budget, freezing any growth in the health care budget, and capping medicare payments at $425 million for the next two years.
Despite the cap, doctors are not allowed to turn away patients, said NBMS CEO Anthony Knight, as reported by CBC.
The New Brunswick Medical Society has threatened on challenging the government in court over the medicare cuts.
On Monday, NBMS president Dr. Robert Desjardins visited colleagues across the country, receiving a “strong reaction from coast to coast,” as said in the statement.
“Physicians across the country are watching New Brunswick,” he said in a press release. “They understand the damage the Alward government has done to its relationship with doctors, and they supported our desire to address the real problems with health system sustainability

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