Professional Call to Arms

October 11, 2015 by | 0 comments

doctor coatOver the last year we have seen some deeply concerning unilateral actions taken by the provincial government that highlight a significant problem with our healthcare system: There is no trust.
How can there be? A perhaps tenuous-at-best relationship between government and physicians in Ontario has rapidly turned into a battle of damaging rhetoric and half-truths, with tremendous talent and energy spent on media campaigns meant to win the hearts and minds of the public instead of tending to them.
All the while our system continues to strain to meet the ever-growing demand for care.

Instead of rallying the various stakeholders to discuss solutions and areas for reform, the government has taken a slightly different tack: alienate both new and established doctors alike by sending mixed messages about primary care models and residency positions, and clear messages about how they feel doctors are overcompensated for the work we do. As a result, there is a lot of confusion, hurt, and anger in the medical community right now with concerns around funding clinics, staff, equipment, as well as supporting families.

Perhaps the one positive spin on this situation,  is that there is also a tremendous amount of engagement right now – more than I have ever witnessed in my short career. While continuing to campaign for a fair and predictable negotiations/mediation/arbitration process, this may also be a perfect opportunity for physicians as a wider community to engage in discussion around issues of system sustainability, reform, and best practices.
While the government’s actions certainly aren’t an ideal call-to-arms for our profession, now that we’re all here, let’s get to work.

About the Author

Taylor Lougheed is a physician in Family and Emergency Medicine, and passionate about sustainable public healthcare, quality improvement and patient safety, medical education, and global health.

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