On January 10, 2015, The Globe and Mail published a story regarding the status of health care negotiations in Ontario.
The story centres on a leaked email from the OAC President, Dr. Jim Swan, to cardiologists who have not yet joined the Ontario Association of Cardiologists.
In that email, Dr. Swan urges heart doctors to join the association, to prepare for a potential showdown with the government should negotiations fail. At the same time he reiterates the OAC’s commitment to work with the Ontario Medical Association and government negotiators to find solutions to controlling health-care costs without jeopardizing quality of care. The OAC believes that based on the negotiations that took place in 2012, they have good reason to prepare for a challenge.
In 2012, former health minister Deb Matthews and the McGuinty Liberal government attempted to enact government regulations that would have redefined self referral in Ontario. If fully implemented, it would have led to the closure of half of the noninvasive cardiac testing facilities in the province. This would have seriously jeopardized access to cardiac care. The OAC was successful in 2012 in convincing the government to change their suggested new definition of self-referral to what is now governed by “appropriateness guidelines”.
Please note there is an error in the Globe and Mail article. No Ontario cardiologist, including Dr. Swan, was at the negotiating table as the article indicates. Please review the links on our website and watch the videos “Why the OAC Exists” and a “Day in the Life of Cardiology” to learn more.