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  • Writer's pictureAllison Jones

Health Ministry ignoring concerns about the 'diminished supply' of doctors

No concern about 'diminished supply' of doctors: health ministry

Arbitration with province's doctors over compensation in dire shape, OMA says

The Canadian Press · Posted: May 08, 2024

Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones makes an announcement on health care with Premier Doug Ford in Toronto on Jan. 16, 2023. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Recruitment and retention of doctors in Ontario is "not a major concern," the Ministry of Health suggests in arguments it is making in arbitration with the Ontario Medical Association over physician compensation.

The argument from the province comes as the OMA, which represents Ontario's doctors, has repeatedly warned that more than two million residents don't have a family doctor and thousands of physician jobs are going unfilled.

The province is in the midst of negotiations with the OMA for the next Physician Services Agreement, which determines how doctors are compensated, covering the next four years.

But the talks are going so poorly that an arbitrator is now being asked to determine compensation levels for the first year while the two sides work on the 2025-2028 period, one of the doctors involved said.

"Things are in such dire shape that that's the fastest way to get money out the door to stabilize family doctors' practices," said Dr. David Barber, the chair of the OMA's Section on General and Family Practice.

The government's arguments in its arbitration brief are unlikely to improve relations, he said.

"It's really quite insulting," Barber said.

"The numbers are one thing, right, but ... the government's approach here is their briefing essentially says there's nothing wrong. I get there's posturing, but this is actually quite dangerous posturing on the side of the government."


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