Jul 25, 2016
By Christine Ross
Ontario’s doctors unhappy with a new fee agreement between the Ontario Medical Association and the Liberal government have forced a delay in voting on the four-year deal. A non-binding vote by doctors was scheduled to take place before an Aug. 6 meeting of the OMA’s governing council, which would then have decided whether to accept the new physician services agreement or reject it. But 3,000 doctors signed a petition put forward by opponents of the deal forcing the OMA to call off the vote and instead hold a full membership meeting to discuss the deal. Some physicians, including a group calling itself Concerned Ontario Doctors, said funding is not adequate to meet growing demands or to keep operating rooms and diagnostic equipment from sitting idle some of the time. The tentative agreement would increase Ontario’s $11.5-billion physician services budget by 2.5 per cent a year, to $12.9 billion by 2020. They were also angry that the OMA dropped a demand for binding arbitration after going two years without a fee agreement. The last time the OMA held a meeting of the more than 25,000 physicians it represents was in the 1980s, when Maple Leaf Gardens was rented for the event. The OMA represents more than 34,000 physicians and medical students across the province.