Arbitration settlement awards 4-year contract for Ontario doctors

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Finally, a 4-year contract has been reached between government and the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) The ruling puts no hard cap on the physician services budget.

Ontario’s doctors vote in favour of arbitration deal to govern contract disputes.

The physician services budget is currently over $12 billion, and the government will now be responsible for its growth at a time when it is working to eliminate what it estimates is a $13.5-billion deficit.

It was the Liberals who imposed fee cuts for some services and clawing back their pay.

In arguing for a hard cap on the physician services budget, the government said doctors are, on average, working less and seeing fewer patients but billing more — which the Ontario Medical Association rejected.

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Less than four per cent of Ontario’s family doctors are responsible for ordering nearly 40 per cent of tests the report said.

Going forward, a working group will be established to look into restricting inappropriate or overused physician services or payments to try to find $100 million “in changes” for the period of June 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020. For the next year it is to find a further $360 million.

This decision awards a four-year contract, including fee increases of an average of one per cent over the contract, to March 31, 2021.

The ruling rejects a government request for fee reductions specific to ophthalmology and cardiology. It also establishes a primary care working group.

There is little doubt that waste occurs, and it would take honesty and integrity on the part of doctors to treat the patient as well as the health care system with respect. -CINEWS

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