In the latest chapter in the ongoing dispute between Ontario
physicians and the provincial Liberals over cuts to doctor's
fees, the government, on October 9th, informed the OMA that they have refused to
accept the Ontario Medical Association's (OMA) request to put
the matter to binding arbitration. Whether or not they are
concerned about their ability to put forward a convincing case for
their heavy-handed, unilateral actions is anyone's guess but
regardless, the ball is back in the OMA's court as they decide
on their next move. While the OMA could challenge the decision in
Court, such a challenge is unlikely to bring justice. It takes too
long and there are too many levels of court to access before a
decision could be made.
It appears that the time may have come to speak to the
provincial Liberals in what may be the only language they
understand: votes. I propose Ontario doctors take a pledge similar
to the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in the United States
only in our physicians case, they would promise to not vote for the
Ontario Liberals for a period of two elections as a way of
demonstrating their outrage for the disrespectful way they have
been treated by the provincial government. Furthermore, no
donations will go to the Liberal party but will instead be switched
to one of the other provincial parties, effective immediately, and
for a period of at least two election cycles.
If our physicians stick together as a voter block, this
logistically simple move – either the OMA or Concerned
Physicians of Ontario could add the pledge and an accompanying
sign-up link on their websites that doctors could access to affirm
they have taken the pledge – may be what it takes for
physicians to be heard.
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