November 25th, 2019

// Ontario Doctors Call for Changes to Proposed Audit System

Ontario Doctors Call for Changes to Proposed Audit System

TORONTO, Nov. 25, 2019 /CNW/ - Ontario's doctors wrote to Health Minister Christine Elliott today following their semi-annual Council meeting calling for changes to proposed legislation that would resurrect a failed audit system.

The letter from the Ontario Medical Association made clear that physicians support the principles of transparency and the need to spend taxpayers' dollars wisely. 

"Doctors and government are working together to transform the province's health care system. We know that oversight is an important part of this work," said OMA President Dr. Sohail Gandhi. "Doctors support an audit system that is fair, protects patient privacy and is based on due process. But that's not what's being proposed, and we want to work with government to fix it."

The letter, and a petition signed by 250 physician leaders from all specialties and all parts of the province, raises serious concerns about Schedule 15 of Bill 138.

Schedule 15 would reintroduce an audit system that Supreme Court Judge Peter Cory described in 2005 as "debilitating for physicians and detrimental to the health care system." 

That system was abandoned more than a decade ago. It was a failed system that was bad for doctors and patients and was costly, cumbersome and inefficient.

Below please find the text of the letter.

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.  

Letter to Government

November 25, 2019

Dear Minister Elliott,

The Ontario Medical Association's Council delegates, representing all 31,577 doctors across the province, came together over the weekend in their semi-annual meeting to discuss health system issues of interest to the profession and our patients. 

Of great concern to the Council delegates is the recent introduction of Schedule 15 as part of Bill 138.

Ontario's doctors agree with the principles of transparency and the need to spend taxpayers' dollars wisely. Oversight is important. We support an audit system that is fair, protects patient privacy, and is based on due process.

However, the OMA Council this weekend raised serious concerns about Schedule 15 as currently drafted. Schedule 15 proposes a system similar to the Medical Review Committee that Supreme Court Justice Peter Cory described, in 2005, as "debilitating for physicians and detrimental to the health care system."

Since the Ford Government was elected, the OMA has demonstrated its commitment to work collaboratively on health care transformation.

Research shows the public trusts doctors the most to make decisions about the future of health care. The people of Ontario want the government and doctors to work together to lead, shape and drive the health care system. Bill 138 undermines the relationship between doctors and government.

We were grateful that you spoke to our Council meeting on Friday, November 22, and highlighted the importance of our relationship. Your commitment to work with the OMA overall, and particularly to make amendments to Section 15, was well-received. We look forward to today's meeting with ministry officials.

I want to underscore how sensitive this issue is to our members.

Dr. Sohail Gandhi
President, Ontario Medical Association

cc: Hon. Rod Phillips, Ontario Minister of Finance,
Helen Angus, Deputy Minister of Health 
Allan O'Dette, CEO, Ontario Medical Association

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

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