Ontario Health Minister blames OMA for lack of agreement

News Mar 21, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins is blaming the Ontario Medical Association for refusing to return to the table and negotiate an agreement for its physicians.

Hoskins, during a March 21 budget announcement at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton, called the OMA “intransigent” for ignoring the ministry’s calls to return to the table.

“We have been prepared for them the past year,” said Hoskins. “We have put a number of proposals on the table. What we are looking for is a reasonable and predictable physician services budget.”

Hoskins said the average physician earns about $345,000 a year, but there are some specialists that have made “many times” the average family doctor. That means, said Hoskins, the ministry has had to cover “hundreds of millions of dollars” in additional budget charges over the last three years.  He said that means there is “less money for access, less money for home care, less money for palliative care.”

Doctors’ salaries, said Hoskins, cost taxpayers about $12 billion annually.

“That’s how much it takes to keep Ontario doctors the best paid in the country,” said Hoskins. “We need to rebalance how we pay our physicians, particularly some of the specialists.”

Hoskins said during his presentation in front of various doctors, and health care professionals that the ministry has increased “the average amount doctors earned” over the last decade by 60 per cent. Someone shouted out that number was in dispute. Hoskins countered it was a number that was identified by the Canadian Institute of Health Information.

The OMA, which represents about 28,000 doctors in Ontario, has argued the Ontario health ministry has sliced about seven per cent of funding for physician services. It has caused higher wait times for tests and procedures and clinics have closed. Hoskins rejected the OMA’s arguments.

“We are willing to negotiate,” said Hoskins. “It’s the OMA that has refused to come back to the table.”

The OMA has been without a contract for two years. It was over a year ago when the OMA left the bargaining table.

Meanwhile, Hoskins highlighted the $345 million health care funding  for 2016 the Liberals announced last month, arguing it is the first time since 2012 that the base funding for hospitals has been increased. Hoskins said the province is also providing other funding for hospitals including $130 million for cancer care; $250 million for home and community care; $75 million for hospices, making the shingles vaccine free for people age 65 to 70 saving them about $170; and increasing base funding by $10 million for behavioural support resources.

The 2016-2017 health care budget will be over $51 billion.

Hoskins said Hamilton Health Sciences will see an increase in funding by about $8 million, while St. Joseph’s health care will receive an additional $5 million.

Rob MacIsaac, president and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences, while cautious in how much more funding the institution will be receiving, agreed it was a welcome relief after four years of austerity. He pointed out the hospital’s inflation rate is about 3 per cent annually.

“It will help to alleviate some of the pressures we’ve been experiencing,” said MacIsaac.  

But the funding, and how the ministry is allocating its resources shows how health care providers must be innovative, he said.

“Business as usual is not going to be good enough,” said MacIsaac. “There are changes coming in health care in the years to come.”

 

Ontario Health Minister blames OMA for lack of agreement

News Mar 21, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins is blaming the Ontario Medical Association for refusing to return to the table and negotiate an agreement for its physicians.

Hoskins, during a March 21 budget announcement at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton, called the OMA “intransigent” for ignoring the ministry’s calls to return to the table.

“We have been prepared for them the past year,” said Hoskins. “We have put a number of proposals on the table. What we are looking for is a reasonable and predictable physician services budget.”

Hoskins said the average physician earns about $345,000 a year, but there are some specialists that have made “many times” the average family doctor. That means, said Hoskins, the ministry has had to cover “hundreds of millions of dollars” in additional budget charges over the last three years.  He said that means there is “less money for access, less money for home care, less money for palliative care.”

Related Content

Doctors’ salaries, said Hoskins, cost taxpayers about $12 billion annually.

“That’s how much it takes to keep Ontario doctors the best paid in the country,” said Hoskins. “We need to rebalance how we pay our physicians, particularly some of the specialists.”

Hoskins said during his presentation in front of various doctors, and health care professionals that the ministry has increased “the average amount doctors earned” over the last decade by 60 per cent. Someone shouted out that number was in dispute. Hoskins countered it was a number that was identified by the Canadian Institute of Health Information.

The OMA, which represents about 28,000 doctors in Ontario, has argued the Ontario health ministry has sliced about seven per cent of funding for physician services. It has caused higher wait times for tests and procedures and clinics have closed. Hoskins rejected the OMA’s arguments.

“We are willing to negotiate,” said Hoskins. “It’s the OMA that has refused to come back to the table.”

The OMA has been without a contract for two years. It was over a year ago when the OMA left the bargaining table.

Meanwhile, Hoskins highlighted the $345 million health care funding  for 2016 the Liberals announced last month, arguing it is the first time since 2012 that the base funding for hospitals has been increased. Hoskins said the province is also providing other funding for hospitals including $130 million for cancer care; $250 million for home and community care; $75 million for hospices, making the shingles vaccine free for people age 65 to 70 saving them about $170; and increasing base funding by $10 million for behavioural support resources.

The 2016-2017 health care budget will be over $51 billion.

Hoskins said Hamilton Health Sciences will see an increase in funding by about $8 million, while St. Joseph’s health care will receive an additional $5 million.

Rob MacIsaac, president and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences, while cautious in how much more funding the institution will be receiving, agreed it was a welcome relief after four years of austerity. He pointed out the hospital’s inflation rate is about 3 per cent annually.

“It will help to alleviate some of the pressures we’ve been experiencing,” said MacIsaac.  

But the funding, and how the ministry is allocating its resources shows how health care providers must be innovative, he said.

“Business as usual is not going to be good enough,” said MacIsaac. “There are changes coming in health care in the years to come.”

 

Ontario Health Minister blames OMA for lack of agreement

News Mar 21, 2016 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins is blaming the Ontario Medical Association for refusing to return to the table and negotiate an agreement for its physicians.

Hoskins, during a March 21 budget announcement at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton, called the OMA “intransigent” for ignoring the ministry’s calls to return to the table.

“We have been prepared for them the past year,” said Hoskins. “We have put a number of proposals on the table. What we are looking for is a reasonable and predictable physician services budget.”

Hoskins said the average physician earns about $345,000 a year, but there are some specialists that have made “many times” the average family doctor. That means, said Hoskins, the ministry has had to cover “hundreds of millions of dollars” in additional budget charges over the last three years.  He said that means there is “less money for access, less money for home care, less money for palliative care.”

Related Content

Doctors’ salaries, said Hoskins, cost taxpayers about $12 billion annually.

“That’s how much it takes to keep Ontario doctors the best paid in the country,” said Hoskins. “We need to rebalance how we pay our physicians, particularly some of the specialists.”

Hoskins said during his presentation in front of various doctors, and health care professionals that the ministry has increased “the average amount doctors earned” over the last decade by 60 per cent. Someone shouted out that number was in dispute. Hoskins countered it was a number that was identified by the Canadian Institute of Health Information.

The OMA, which represents about 28,000 doctors in Ontario, has argued the Ontario health ministry has sliced about seven per cent of funding for physician services. It has caused higher wait times for tests and procedures and clinics have closed. Hoskins rejected the OMA’s arguments.

“We are willing to negotiate,” said Hoskins. “It’s the OMA that has refused to come back to the table.”

The OMA has been without a contract for two years. It was over a year ago when the OMA left the bargaining table.

Meanwhile, Hoskins highlighted the $345 million health care funding  for 2016 the Liberals announced last month, arguing it is the first time since 2012 that the base funding for hospitals has been increased. Hoskins said the province is also providing other funding for hospitals including $130 million for cancer care; $250 million for home and community care; $75 million for hospices, making the shingles vaccine free for people age 65 to 70 saving them about $170; and increasing base funding by $10 million for behavioural support resources.

The 2016-2017 health care budget will be over $51 billion.

Hoskins said Hamilton Health Sciences will see an increase in funding by about $8 million, while St. Joseph’s health care will receive an additional $5 million.

Rob MacIsaac, president and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences, while cautious in how much more funding the institution will be receiving, agreed it was a welcome relief after four years of austerity. He pointed out the hospital’s inflation rate is about 3 per cent annually.

“It will help to alleviate some of the pressures we’ve been experiencing,” said MacIsaac.  

But the funding, and how the ministry is allocating its resources shows how health care providers must be innovative, he said.

“Business as usual is not going to be good enough,” said MacIsaac. “There are changes coming in health care in the years to come.”