Kathleen Wynne and Eric Hoskins have cut fees to physicians yet again. There is no current agreement between Ontario’s Doctors and the Government. The Wynne Government has unilaterally decided what they want to pay doctors and have abandoned all pretence at negotiations. They are openly showing their contempt for doctors and fair bargaining.
And doctors have no recourse. We cannot ‘strike’ and we will not withhold medically necessary services. We could work to rule but so far most of us have no appetite for using our patients as pawns in a political power play.
Rather than respect this principled approach to putting our patients first, Premier Wynne and Minister Hoskins are taking advantage of us. For them it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. They face no repercussions as our patients continue to receive the best care that can be provided in the current ‘system’.
Other essential service providers fight much nastier. Teachers work to rule and have an escalating plan of job action. Homecare nurses staged a strike. Ironically Minister Hoskins begged them publicly to go to binding arbitration to settle their dispute. He has repeatedly rejected binding arbitration for Ontario Doctors. By the way, binding arbitration is available to doctors in almost every other province in Canada.
The Premier and the Minster have us down and are kicking us again and again.
Politicians seem to respect strength, not dedication. If we could make them pay, if we could put our patients at risk, they would be reasonable. But, our own professionalism is being used against us.
The OMA can and should continue to pursue a binding dispute resolution process. Ontario Doctors, supported unanimously by our colleagues at the Canadian Medical Association General Council, are calling for this. We should negotiate a fair process or pursue one in the Courts.
In the meantime, we should make them pay at the ballot box. There will be no election in Ontario for four years, but there is a federal election in the next few weeks.
Premier Wynne and Minister Hoskins have made no secret of their love for Justin Trudeau. They have been traipsing around Ontario campaigning for him and his Liberal colleagues.
To be fair, Trudeau has not cut our fees. I’d be surprised if he had any insight into the dispute between doctors and the Wynne Government. But he has accepted the Wynne/Hoskins endorsements freely and enthusiastically. So he has to take the rough with the smooth.
When it comes time to cast a ballot in the federal election, remember what the Ontario Liberals are doing to our health care system and to our doctors.
Vote. Vote NDP, Vote Conservative or Vote Green but do not vote for the Wynne candidates.
Make the Liberals pay where it hurts. Punch them right in the ballot box.
Scott D. Wooder, MD