March 17th, 2020

// OCC and OMA Support Protecting Workers and Waiving Sick Notes during COVID-19

OCC and OMA Support Protecting Workers and Waiving Sick Notes during COVID-19

TORONTO, March 16, 2020 /CNW/ - The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) welcome and applaud the provincial government's announcement introducing legislation that will eliminate the requirement to provide sick notes during COVID-19.  

"Public health and safety are priorities for us all. The Ontario government's announcement today to introduce legislation to support employees taking time off for self-isolation or quarantine, without a sick note, is a step in the right direction to ensure workers are protected," said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "The federal government has already announced proposing changes and flexibility around extending unemployment insurance and we look forward to further details that should cover these workers," he stated.

The OMA and the OCC appreciate the business community's support in protecting both their employees' jobs and their health.  

"As the OMA has long advocated, sick notes are not the best use of health system resources. Doctors cannot provide notes proving that a patient is COVID-19 free without conducting an assessment and testing. Devoting resources to testing, for the purpose of providing a note to confirm that a person does not have COVID-19, takes resources away from caring with patients who do have it, or at risk of developing it. We really welcome today's announcement that will help release this burden on doctors to provide sick notes for their patients," added Dr. Sohail Gandhi, President of the Ontario Medical Association.

The OCC and OMA strongly recommend all workers follow the Ministry's of Health's advice to first contact Telehealth Ontario if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Going to a physician's office may put them and other patients at risk. It's important to call ahead and get screened. Completing the province's self-assessment tool will also help patients and physicians determine the best course of care: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-self-assessment

Both the OMA and OCC support the decisions of the federal and provincial governments, other organizations and individuals who are taking steps to implement or voluntarily practice social distancing preventing the further spread of COVID-19.  We will continue to monitor and assess new developments pertaining to COVID-19 closely and work with our members, partners, and all levels of government to provide support to Ontario business and Ontario's doctors.  

About the OMA
The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario's 43,000 plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario's health-care system.  

About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan voice of Ontario business. The OCC's mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen's Park on behalf of its network's diverse 60,000 members.

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

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