Sep 22, 2015

By Jane Brown

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A potential battle is brewing between Ontario’s doctors and the governing Liberals at Queens Park.

As of October 1st, the province’s physicians will see their fees cut by 1.3 percent on top of a 3.15 percent fee cut that was imposed in February.

Fee cuts have also been imposed by the government in a number of areas such as diagnostic imaging and diabetes management. A cap has also been set on total billings, creating the real possibility that, come year’s end, doctors will not be paid for work performed.

It’s also worth noting that when fees are capped, doctors have to absorb the cost of additional care required because of population growth and aging.

The clawbacks have been imposed unilaterally after the Ontario Medical Association declined an offer calling for a 2.65 percent cut.

Doctors are becoming frustrated, saying they deserve fair labour negotiations and should not be treated in a heavy handed and undemocratic manner. The OMA’s Michael Toth argues cuts are going to affect patient care.

Provincial health minister Doctor Eric Hoskins says that the cuts are not affecting care, and that scare-mongering is unprofessional.

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