OMA Values Democracy … Because It Has To

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For two years now, the OMA Board has been begging, suing, and negotiating with the government for a new deal for Ontario’s doctors. So when they reached a tentative agreement with the government last month, they were all set to get it rubber-stamped by the 1% of doctors who sit on the OMA Council. They had successfully represented the interests of doctors, and all without having to waste their constituents’ time with silly formalities like voting.

Sadly, it would not be quite so easy. Unbeknownst to anyone, doctors apparently have the right to decide for themselves whether to accept their new employment contract. They’ll now be forced to actually read the 6-page document and show up on August 14 to debate its merits. Who has time for that? Thankfully, the Board has taken the time to simplify this task by summarizing the complex document in 8 short, surely-unbiased lines of text on their website. We should all be grateful for their diligence and transparency.

Government Shocked That Wealthiest Doctors Don’t Want More Vacation Time

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After hearing countless heart-wrenching stories of overworked ophthalmologists, radiologists, and cardiologists, the government decided it was time to break the cycle of wealthy physicians going to work every day to help patients. To that end, in negotiating the new Physician Services Agreement, they generously offered to simply stop paying these physicians after they had done too much work – that way, for the last few months of every fiscal year, these over-achieving physicians would be forced to take a break. To their surprise, the OMA didn’t immediately embrace this proposal. It seems that some of these physicians actually found helping patients rewarding, and so wanted to keep working. Government officials didn’t know how to react. Said one MPP, currently on vacation, “Their reluctance to leave work is baffling. MPPs are meant to work for 24 weeks this year – I don’t know how we could do that without 28 weeks off!”

Doctors Satisfied After Government Changes the Definition of “Increase”

Patient bribing doctor putting money to pocketThis Tuesday, the OMA board triumphantly declared that they had forced the provincial government to accept a 2.5% annual “increase” in health-care costs. After 2 years of deadlocked negotiations, doctors were impressed at the dramatic turnaround. The government, for its part, was surprised at the simplicity of the solution. All it took was redefining what value they were increasing. The OMA was adamantly opposed to their initial proposal of a 9.5% real cut in doctor compensation per service provided (2.5% increase in pay – 3% increase in utilization – 2% inflation – 7% previous cuts). But then accountants on both sides had the brilliant idea of just ignoring the negative numbers. So utilization increases, inflation, and previous cuts were removed from the draft. The OMA could hardly refuse such a generous deal. As doctors – the most educated constituency in the country – we should be proud of finding such a clever solution.