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Health Law Blog

This Is How Doctors Can Take a Stand against the Ontario Government over Fee Cuts

October 16, 2015

In the latest chapter in the ongoing dispute between Ontario physicians and the provincial Liberals over cuts to doctor’s fees, the government, on October 9thinformed the OMA that they have refused to accept the Ontario Medical Association’s (OMA) request to put the matter to binding arbitration. Whether or not they are concerned about their ability to put forward a convincing case for their heavy-handed, unilateral actions is anyone’s guess but regardless, the ball is back in the OMA’s court as they decide on their next move. While the OMA could challenge the decision in Court, such a challenge is unlikely to bring justice. It takes too long and there are too many levels of court to access before a decision could be made.

It appears that the time may have come to speak to the provincial Liberals in what may be the only language they understand: votes. I propose Ontario doctors (together with their spouses, parents, and any adult voting member of their household) take a pledge similar to the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in the United States only in our physicians’ case, they would promise to not vote for the Ontario Liberals for a period of two elections as a way of demonstrating their outrage for the disrespectful way they have been treated by the provincial government. Furthermore, no donations will go to the Liberal party but will instead be switched to one of the other provincial parties, effective immediately, and for a period of at least two election cycles.

If our physicians stick together as a voter block, this logistically simple move – either the OMA or Concerned Physicians of Ontario could add the pledge and an accompanying sign-up link on their websites that doctors could access to affirm they have taken the pledge – may be what it takes for physicians to be heard.

Testimonials

Several years ago I was fortunate enough to have been selected as a Tremayne-Lloyd Fellow here at Western Law. I used the funds to finish a book and to begin work on a new one. It dawned on me far too late that I had never thanked you for that splendid gift. The new book is to be published by Harvard Press in 2010. The TTL Fellowships provided ritual seed capital for this project, which required me to spend a good deal of time and money at The National Archive in Washington. Again, with many thanks.

R. W. Kostal Professor of Law and History

Tracey Tremayne-Lloyd Health Law