Ontario doctors will be gathering at Queen’s Park on Monday (Nov. 21) to meet with cabinet ministers and MPPs from all parties to discuss how to increase patient access to care and improve the health-care system.
The CEO and president of the Ontario Medical Association along with front-line physicians from across the province will present three solutions to shorten wait times, address the doctor shortage and expand palliative care. These solutions are part of OMA’s roadmap for the future, Prescription for Ontario: Doctors’ 5-Point Plan for Better Care.
In addition, we will be presenting new data about the balance between in-person and virtual care being offered, and giving first-hand accounts of what doctors are seeing in their clinics, hospitals and emergency departments as patients catch up on care that was delayed or put off during the pandemic.
OMA leaders have scheduled meetings with Health Minister Sylvia Jones; Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Merrilee Fullerton; Michael Tibollo, the associate minister of mental health and addictions; the Liberal and Green Party leaders and the Liberal and NDP health critics.
During the lunch hour, an expert panel of doctors will discuss solutions including:
- Licensing more foreign-trained physicians, through increased residency spots and a government assessment program to assess who is ready to practice now.
- Creating standalone centres to perform less complicated outpatient surgeries and procedures covered by OHIP. These not-for-profit, publicly funded Integrated Ambulatory Centres would ease the burden on hospital and reduce wait times.
- Creating more hospice beds and palliative care services to improve the patient experience, support caregivers and reduce pressures on emergency departments.
In keeping with the masking recommendations by the chief medical officer of health, OMA members and staff will all be wearing masks to help prevent the spread of three respiratory viruses that are hitting children and children’s’ hospitals especially hard, the flu, RSV and COVID-19. The OMA urges everyone to wear a mask in indoor public setting and around vulnerable people and to get their flu shot and COVID boosters.