The Board of Directors of the Ontario Specialists Association (OSA) acknowledges the decision of the board of arbitration released earlier this week concerning phase one issues between the Ontario Medical Association and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Ministry).
The award validates the OSA’s position on several fundamental issues including the inherent unfairness of the across-the-board fee cuts imposed unilaterally by the previous government and the unreasonableness of the Ministry’s proposals to place a hard cap on the physician services budget and impose additional fee cuts on targeted specialists.
“The award is a reflection of the concerns that specialists have advanced for years, including most recently under the umbrella of the OSA,” said OSA Chair Dr. David Jacobs. “While there is clearly more work to do, the award is a good start,” he continued.
OSA Board member Dr. James Swan agreed. “What is encouraging is that the provincial government is now willing to work collaboratively with physicians going forward to address issues and improve the health care system. It is incumbent on organizations like ours, on behalf of all patients, to take it up on its offer.”
The OSA is particularly heartened by the arbitration board’s statement on the contentious issue of physician income relativity. On page 20 of the decision, the board states regarding years 3 and 4 of the award, “…we believe it is appropriate for us to indicate that, at this time, we would not be inclined as a board of arbitration to direct that the fees or compensation paid to some groups should be reduced, in order to increase the fees or compensation paid to other groups, whether on relativity grounds or otherwise.”
The OSA formed in November 2018 and is composed of more than 3,000 leading medical and surgical specialists in Ontario providing leading edge care to the most acutely ill patients in the health care system.
For more information about the OSA, visit: www.specialistsontario.com.