Patients Canada Statement: Rejected Tentative Physician Services Agreement (PSA)
Patients Canada, an independent, non-partisan organization that advocates on behalf of patients, believes that patients in Ontario should not have to experience the reduction of essential health care services as a result of the OMA’s rejection of the Physician Services Agreement and deserve access to equitable quality patient-centered care regardless of the current state of government negotiations in Ontario.
Despite the rhetoric advanced by the parties involved, Patients Canada sees the agreement that was recently voted down, as being little more than a financial arrangement.
While we recognize that many important issues for patients were outlined (improvements to primary care and access), there was not real resolution, only a promise to address them in the future. And, these will be negotiated with doctors representatives and the government at the table. While both groups claim to have the patients’ interests at heart, we see a glaring absence of the patient in these talks or in the proposed decision-making processes going forward. It is time for the parties involved to make a reality of their assertions of putting patient interests at the centre of decisions and finally involve patients in a meaningful way.
Patients Canada hears from many who cannot get in to see a family doctor. The specifics of these cases and the insights they provide would be of benefit at these tables. Many frail elderly cannot see a family doctors within 24 hours if they need to and they require more frequent visits in a timely manner. Other high needs patients are refused by physician groups – they can’t find a group to take them.
These are issues that must be worked through with the patient voice at the table. Any co – management structure that does not involve the patient voice is incomplete. Patients Canada favours an agreement where money is tied to actually achieving improvement through performance and access and where the patient voice is provided for in all matters that affect patients.
Daniel McIntyre (416) 900-2975