Printer Friendly

Ontario plans put it on collision course with doctors and hospitals.

TORONTO--Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced that the government plans to transform health care by emphasizing public health to prevent illness, focusing on home care rather than on hospital care, and increasing the role of pharmacists, therapists, nurses and nurse practitioners in dealing with patients.

Health and Long Term care Minister George Smitherman told reporters that Ontario will be reallocating its current $29-billion expenditure on health care, and that health care providers should not count on any large increases for this year.

At the same time, doctors and hospitals are waging intense lobbying battles to try to force the government to increase its spending on health care, where annual outlays have soared by almost $12-billion from the $17-billion health budget in 1995.

The hospitals told the legislature committee yesterday that they face a shortfall of $420-million for the current fiscal year, which ends March 31.

The Ontario Hospital Association told a legislature committee hearings submissions on the spring budget that there could be even more bed closings and longer waiting lists for diagnostic services and treatment if there is not a substantial increase in government funding.

President of the Ontario Medical Association Larry Erlick, advised that one of six physicians are planning to quit the profession or leave the province, according to a survey of OMA membership. They are dissatisfied with the payments they receive from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. Ontario doctors claims that Ontario physicians rank seventh in income compared with physicians in other provinces. The OMA is currently negotiating a contract for the province's 22,000 doctors and has warned it wants substantial increases in the levels of OHIP payments to catch up to doctors in other provinces.

Payments to physicians make up the third-costliest item in the government's overall budget this year, amounting to $6.8-billion, or 10.8 per cent of total spending on programs of $63-billion.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Community Action Publishers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Community Action
Date:Feb 16, 2004
Words:311
Previous Article:Publications.
Next Article:Recognize impact of smoking ban on psychiatric patients, advocate urges.


Related Articles
Dermatologist threatens to leave the province over 'restriction' on his services.
Hospital officials concerned restructuring lacks planning.
What Hillary could learn from Canada and Germany.
"Scalpel please." (while Canada's major health care spending cuts have saved money, critics claim quality is diminishing, threatening patients' lives)
What Doctors Don't Know.
Ontario to make primary care and prevention a top priority.
Kirkland Lake gold recruits physician.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |