CFN – The McGuinty government’s plan to unilaterally cut $1.1 billion in health programs and fees will force wait times for medical procedures to go up and patient access to care to go down. That is the clear message a panel of local doctors will deliver to concerned Cornwall citizens tonight at a town hall meeting.
In its most recent annual report, the Cornwall area local health integration network missed 11 of 14 performance benchmarks for patient care, including longer wait times for cataract surgery, hip and knee replacements, and MRI exams. Wait times for these procedures and many others stand to increase as a result of these cuts. More than 21,000 physicians are being negatively affected by just the first round of the McGuinty government cuts, including the physicians who perform these tests and procedures.
In addition to longer waits and reduced access to care, the McGuinty government’s planned cuts will also mean that patients who still don’t have a family doctor will either wait longer to find one or won’t be able to find one at all. Information recently released by the Ontario Medical Association reveals that more than 927,000 patients in Ontario, including 132,000 children, still do not have a family doctor, and the province is short more than 1,000 doctors. A recent Nanos Research survey shows 41 percent of Ontario’s doctors would consider moving to a more welcoming jurisdiction and 33 percent would consider retiring early if the McGuinty government cuts continue.
“You simply can’t make decisions from behind a desk at Queen’s Park in Toronto that affect patients in our community. Health care decisions must be made with the input of local health care professionals that are on the frontlines of patient care every day.”
–Dr. Christine Suess
“Wait times for my patients are still too long, and these cuts to health programs and fees are going to force them to wait even longer. Dalton McGuinty should be working with doctors to protect and enhance patient care in Cornwall, not working against us.”
–Dr. Garrett Foley
OMA Poobah Scott Wooder on video when he visited Cornwall in the Spring.
- The Champlain Local Health Integration Network (which includes Cornwall) missed 11 of 14 performance targets in 2010-11, including:
- Wait times for Cataract Surgery: 154 days (target is 150 days).
- Wait times for Hip Replacement: 295 days (target is 222 days).
- Wait times for Knee Replacement: 242 days (target is 182 days).
- Wait times for MRI: 105 days (target is 97 days).
- While Ontario is cutting doctor’s fees, other Canadian provinces – including British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan – have worked with doctors to negotiate fee increases to protect health care.
- The Association of American Medical Colleges is projecting a U.S. doctor shortage of 62,900 in 2015 – and more than double that number in 2025. Even if new health care legislation does not come into effect, the U.S. doctor shortage will still exceed 100,000 by 2025.
- Visit www.supportontariodoctors.ca to learn more about the McGuinty government’s unilateral cuts to health care and how they will put patient care at risk.