It’s a sign of our times when a simple labour agreement can be framed as a political triumph.
The latest is news the Ontario Medical Association reached a deal with the provincial government this week on behalf of 25,000 doctors.
Here’s the shocker: there was some give and take. This wasn’t supposed to be possible in this new austerity landscape.
The government took two years of zeros. The docs got the government to reverse some of the unilateral fee cuts from earlier this year.
Don’t we all feel better now?
Medical office assistants and their supporters picket outside the Oshawa Health Centre August 29. The workers were told they were losing their jobs at the medical clinic upon the retirement of chiropractor Dr. Adrian Pettyan.
Picketing OPSEU members got a partial result for their efforts outside the Oshawa Health Centre on August 27.
Medical office assistants at the Oshawa Health Centre were calling for the medical clinic’s owner to reveal his plans for the future of services offered at the clinic after it formally closes at the end of September.
Dr. Adrian Pettyan, who says he owns the clinic, had been adamant patients were not being “abandoned,” but could not say earlier in the week where the clinic’s health practitioners would move their practices.
Pettyan told the news media yesterday that he expects most of the doctors will make lease arrangements to continue working out of the facility at the corner of Adelaide and Simcoe Streets.
Ontario’s doctors are fighting back after the government unilaterally cut $340 million in fees last month.
The Ontario Medical Association is applying to the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice for a review of the government’s negotiations tactics and the imposition of fee cuts.
The doctors are arguing the landmark BC case in which the Supreme Court of Canada recognized the right to collective bargaining should be extended to the OMA, which has negotiated the fee schedule with government since the beginning of Medicare.
Well that didn’t take long.
After a few weeks of bluster, the Ontario government has walked away from bargaining with the province’s doctors and imposed a retroactive fee schedule that rolls back fees affecting 4,500 different OHIP services.
That includes a four-year 11 per cent rollback on fees paid for 250 diagnostic radiology tests that the government claims are justified by improved technological efficiency.
Fees paid for cataracts are being similarly rolled back from $441 to $397.75.
Fees paid for eye injections for retinal disease will be more than halved over four years, from $189 to $90.