A Roundup of Comments

A roundup of some of the talk about Bill 41 and the state of health care in Ontario. Please email with us with your experiences and links to relevant articles and blogs.

The views expressedof Health City Ontario.

Bill 41

Many of our members are fed up with government’s underhanded and heavy-handed treatment of family doctors in this province. These members point to the continued abuse exacted upon our specialty over the past 2 years, that includes:

– Introduction of the Ministry-imposed Unilateral Action;

– Continued fee discounts offset against rising costs of practice;

– Operationalization by the LHINs of government’s Patients First agenda before the legislation was even introduced;

– Bill 210 and now Bill 41.

All of these government actions were deliberately advanced with little to no physician input and bypassing the negotiations framework and processes agreed upon by the Ministry and our Association.

Throughout this period, family doctors have continued to look after their patients to the best of their abilities. But many in our specialty are conflicted as to whether they should continue to participate in LHIN or other Ministry committees or initiatives when government clearly does not value or respect the profession. They question the merits of ‘consultation’ and ‘planning’ efforts to improve the health care system when the fundamental requirement to achieve buy-in from the larger profession – a Physician Services Agreement, fairly negotiated and ratified by the profession – is nowhere near in sight.

These viewpoints were vigorously debated at the October 29 meeting of your Section Executive which concluded with passage of the following motion:

“That the SGFP Executive recommends to ALL family physicians that they do not take part in any meeting with either the Ministry of Health or the LHINs dealing with Bill 41, or any aspects of “Patients First” until a Physician Services Agreement has been ratified by the OMA”

What Does This Mean for You?

You may already be involved in LHIN or sub-LHIN primary care committees or other regional discussions that are focused on aspects of Patients First for your catchment area. Should you quit? Only you can make that determination.

The above motion is a recommendation, not a directive. But it is a line in the sand and a simple reminder to government and its agencies that they can plan all they want. They may even draw false comfort in their ability to ‘legislate’, ‘dictate’, ‘investigate’, and ‘supervise’. However, meaningful and lasting change focused on patients can only be achieved through working collaboratively with the profession and its representative body, the Ontario Medical Association within the context of a mutually-accepted Physician Services Agreement.

We urge you to bring a copy of this Chair’s Letter with you when / should you attend your next Ministry, LHIN or other agency meeting. You may also want to indicate at that time that the continuing impasse between the Ministry and the profession may make it increasingly difficult for you to continue to participate in future meetings.

Opportunity for One-on-One Engagement with Your MPP November 7 – 11

Next Week is ‘Constituency Week’ when each MPP will be in his / her riding. Call your MPP. Let your views be known! Use this easy OMA link to get the relevant contact information.

We Welcome Your Feedback.

Please forward your comments to us at Bill41@sgfp.ca 

Thank you,
Dr. David Schieck
Chair, Section on General and Family Practice


This morning (November 14, 2016), Ontario’s doctors finally had the opportunity to formally voice their concerns about Bill 41. Dr. Stephen Chris presented to the standing committee on legislative assembly and called on the government to make substantive changes to the legislation. You can read the OMA’s media release about the presentation to committee here.

If you are interested in submitting a written submission, they will be allowed until 6 pm on November 23. You can read the notice here.

Print and Digital Ads Launched to Stop Bill 41

To coincide with both the presentation in committee for Bill 41 and this week’s by-elections in Niagara West—Glanbrook and Ottawa—Vanier, the OMA has launched a digital and print ad campaign today against Bill 41. 

Print ads will be running in both Niagara West—Glanbrook and Ottawa—Vanier and ask the public to contact their MPP to stop Bill 41. So if you live in one of those ridings, be sure to check your local newspaper.

Here are some tweets you can send out about Bill 41: 

Please help Ontario’s doctors voice concerns about #Bill41. Send a letter to your MPP: www.ontariosdoctors.com

Ontario’s doctors formally voice our concerns at @ONgov’s standing committee on #Bill41 today: http://ow.ly/phYi3069BzY 

I am opposed to #Bill41. It allows politicians & bureaucrats to prioritize their decisions about the health system over patient care needs

Ontario’s docs presented concerns about patient privacy & increase health-care bureaucracy to @ONgov Standing Committee on #Bill41 http://ow.ly/phYi3069BzY

Universal Health Care?

Re: “Free health care no longer affordable,” Oct. 28.

I wish to expand upon Dr. Murray Matangi’s article.

As physicians, we provide a wide variety of services for patients in Kingston and the surrounding area and see how they rely on the health-care system in their greatest time of need.

We share their frustrations when they are told “the province’s finances are in rough shape” and are equally concerned when told resources like home-care nursing, personal support workers and physician services need to be rationed as a result of the government’s mismanagement of our taxpayer dollars.

We are opposed to the Ontario government’s legislated attempt to address these challenges in our community through Bill 41, the Patients First Act. The solution being proposed is a top-down approach that involves more health-care administrators, more power and authority given the Minister of Health to act unilaterally, and increased command and control over health-care providers by Local Health Integration Networks.

The bureaucrats created this health-care crisis and are not capable of curing it.

The government argues this is about frontline care, but the reality is that LHINs don’t provide frontline care — doctors, nurses, PSWs and others do. The struggles our patients have in accessing adequate home care, mental health care or even an MRI can’t be fixed by more administration or more power to the minister and LHIN CEO. Government, LHINs and frontline doctors must work together with patients to address the challenges with our health-care system.

If the government is unwilling to properly fund our health-care system, then any new money should at least be directed to frontline care, not additional administrators resulting in more bureaucracy for physicians and providers. We think it is important for everyone to question why the minister believes the LHINs need this type of power. The government must stop acting unilaterally and listen to those who provide daily frontline care for patients.

We urge everyone to go online to www.stopbill41.com for more information, and to sign a petition asking the Wynne government to cease their unilateral actions.

Dr. Greg Baran
Family Physician

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