March 11th, 2021

// OMA recommends interventions to address gender pay gap among physicians

OMA recommends interventions to address gender pay gap among physicians

TORONTO, March 10, 2021 /CNW/ - The Ontario Medical Association is recommending interventions to address a substantial pay gap between male and female doctors, including modernizing the province's fee schedule and payment models and ensuring fairness in payment and fee increases across specialities. 

"Female physicians represent more than 40 per cent of all doctors in Ontario," said OMA President Dr. Samantha Hill. "Equity in the representation of women in medicine requires equity in compensation. Patient outcomes are improved by diversity among physicians, so we have a professional obligation to ensure gender-based and race-based systemic obstacles to practicing medicine are mitigated."

Among the OMA's recommendations are policies to:

  • Encourage greater representation of female physicians in medical leadership positions 
  • Work toward greater pay equity across specialties 
  • Modernize the province's fee schedule and payment models 
  • Study the issue of gender bias in referrals to specialists 
  • Advocate for expanded parental leave benefits

The OMA identified an unexplained gender pay gap among physicians last year, following the largest study of its type in Canada. On average for each day worked, female physicians bill less than 87 cents for each dollar billed by men. They would need to bill 15.6 per cent more than their current average daily billings to close the gap.

The gap was much larger before adjusting for factors such as years of experience and work outside business hours to create a more direct comparison of OHIP billings among male and female doctors.

Substantial variation in the billing gap was found depending on the physician's area of speciality, geographic location and whether they worked in private practice or a hospital setting.

In a week during which we celebrate both International Women's Day and the first Canadian Women Physicians Day, the OMA will hold a media briefing on the gender pay gap and other issues. Media can register here to attend the Healing the Gender Gap in Medicine briefing on Wednesday, March 10,  from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. 

The panel of researchers participating in the discussion includes Dr. Hill; Dr. Clover Hemans, co-chair of OMA Women; and Dr. Kimberly Lazare, an assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto who has published research on the subject. Dr. Hemans will discuss her Top 10 list of actions to advance the role of women in medicine.

"The pay gap issue among physicians is complex and there may be different causes for doctors in different practice settings," said OMA CEO Allan O'Dette. "If there is no single cause to explain the gender pay gap, then no single policy will fully address it. A series of interventions is needed to address this issue of basic fairness."

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.

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association


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