Coalition Statement to Ontario Doctors Regarding OMA Executive Resignations
February 7, 2017
The Coalition of Ontario Doctors and Concerned Ontario Doctors (COD) called yesterday’s partial resignation of the OMA Executive members a positive first step in the rehabilitation of the OMA’s governance structure and its duty to represent all Ontario doctors fairly. The resignation is partial because the same individuals remain on the OMA Board for the time being leaving many unanswered questions.
The Coalition and Concerned Ontario Doctors (COD) were joined by thousands of doctors who called for the resignation of the OMA Executive Committee members over the past six months due to the OMA’s decision to unsuccessfully force through a deeply flawed Physician Services Agreement that was rejected by 63% of voting physicians.
The removal of the OMA Executive is only the first of many renewal initiatives that Ontario doctors have identified as being essential. Other measures include the negotiation of a Binding Arbitration framework with government as a pre-condition to resume negotiations as well as a new and more professional approach to negotiations to ensure patient care is not rationed further by this Liberal government. The OMA continues to require significant internal governance reform to ensure that the entire physician community elects the OMA Board and Executive leaders to permit transparency, accountability, equity and fairness for all Ontario doctors. Ontario’s patients and doctors need a member-driven organization that is able to passionately advocate for Ontario’s doctors, patients and healthcare system.
Doctors are now going into their fourth year without a contract and have been subjected to an unprecedented period of government hostility directed towards the profession and an unwillingness to bargain in good faith. The Ontario Liberal government has repeatedly bullied and vilified physicians while it has unilaterally cut nearly $2 Billion from the patient services Ontario’s doctors provide. This has led to unprecedented patient wait times for medically necessary care. The recent passing of Bill 41 is a further threat to patients’ access to care and patient privacy rights. The OMA’s longstanding failure to effectively challenge this government’s abuse has served to galvanise thousands of grassroots doctors to be active and to demand change through organisations like the Coalition and COD.
Even though accountability for their actions comes at a very late date, it is an important first sign that doctors can begin to take back their organisation and commence the difficult task of demanding the same fairness and equity from the Ontario Liberal government.
The Coalition and COD will soon be communicating new and disturbing developments we have just learned that OMA has purposely hidden from its members. These alarming issues will be addressed in more detail soon. It includes OMA having advance knowledge of plans by the Ontario Liberals to unilaterally cut even more from the patient services Ontario’s doctors provide. The OMA Executive failed to notify the profession about these dramatic cuts and had planned to do nothing to protect Ontario’s patients and doctors against their devastating impacts.
Download PDF here: COALITION RESPONSE TO OMA EXECUTIVE RESIGNATION FINAL