Explains why doctors rejected pact

August 18, 2016   ·   0 Comments

A “binding arbitration” for B.C. doctors was blithely overruled by the B.C. government.  Ontario doctors who voted August 16 for binding arbitration know that Premier Wynne is likely to adopt the B.C. tactic, but hope that some benefit will arise.  Nonetheless, the Premier will probably find another way to punish them if arbitration succeeds.

One factor in the vote against acceptance of Wynne’s contract is that Ontario doctors’ fees have been reduced by about 7.5% over the past four years by one-side Liberal government cuts; so a 2.5% per annum “increase” would merely restore a third of that cut each year.

At present, surgeons must use a fixed letter code to describe their operations in order to be paid. The limited number of codes cannot cover all contingencies; so the adjudicator at the government end must determine the legitimacy of the application.  Sadly, the government agent is not a doctor and works nowhere near the surgeons.  How can a surgeon explain his work over a telephone to a lay bureaucrat while he is conducting an operation?  How can he do so months after the event, when the bureaucrat has reluctantly decided to consider the doctor’s application for payment?

A surgeon who takes less time than he booked for an operating room must pay for the unneeded time.  If he exceeds the time planned, he is docked again.  The abilities of assisting nurses are a complicating factor, and victims of car collisions or drug overdoses often exhibit additional trauma while under the knife.  So operating time estimates are always hazy.

Doctors must spend decades in training, pay huge premiums for insurance, hire secretaries so they can concentrate on their profession instead of unpaid paper work, study medical developments in their own time, stand available day and night seven days a week for those cases the authorities say “no one else” can handle, etc.; then they are hassled by bureaucrats with the enthusiastic approval of Premier Wynne. 

Personally, if I were a doctor, I would seek an alternative venue fast.  Because I’m not, I applaud those doctors who stick it out for the greater good of us patients.

Charles Hooker 

East Garafraxa, Ontario


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