There is an old Chinese saying—a curse, actually. “May you live in interesting times.” For Ontario’s 28,000 doctors, 2016 was definitely “interesting.” We saw the Ontario Government introduce Bill 210, The Patients First Act, then surprise everyone by announcing they’d cut a deal with the Ontario Medical Association, a deal which was subsequently rejected by 63% of Ontario’s doctors. Premier Wynne then prorogued the legislature, forcing Health Minister Eric Hoskins to re-introduce The Patients First Act, now called Bill 41.
We saw the formation of the Coalition of Ontario Doctors—of which DoctorsOntario is a proud member—and the resignation of the OMA’s negotiating team. The OMA’s legal team and public relations gurus were also told to “take a hike.” All in all, a fascinating, almost unprecedented turn of events. Which leads us to 2017, the road ahead . . .
They say every journey—no matter how long—begins with but a single footstep. But an organization that takes one step forward, and two steps back, is not the kind of representative Ontario’s doctors either want or need.
What we do need is leadership—not from the middle, like the OMA seems to think is appropriate—but from the front. Now, some of you might well ask why we need another organization for doctors when we already have the Ontario Medical Association? The answer is two-fold. The OMA is clearly incapable of standing up and advocating on behalf of the medical profession and our patients. And it’s high time the Ontario Government received a wake-up call!
Oh, and one more thing. The OMA isn’t particularly adept at thinking outside the box, either. Fortunately, we are. This is why, with your support, we plan on doing the following in 2017:
1. Work with our colleagues in the Coalition to make sure Ontario’s doctors are treated with the respect we deserve and not simply as an afterthought;
2. Continue to educate the general public about the dangers of The Patients First Act and hopefully convince the Ontario Government to kill Bill 41; and
3. Educate, motivate and activate our patients so they will help us keep the Liberals from winning the Ontario provincial election in 2018.
As you can clearly see, DoctorsOntario is ready, willing and able to step up to the plate and take on a government who have proven, by their very actions, to be no friend to doctors or patients. How about you?
With the help of former Toronto Police Association President Craig Bromell, we believe DoctorsOntario can and will make a difference during the next round of negotiations with government. But we can't do anything without your support.
It costs roughly $2,000 a year to be a member of the OMA. It costs only $400 a year to be a member of DoctorsOntario. Now ask yourself this: "What would I be willing to pay to have a professional negotiator, with a proven track record, like Craig Bromell representing doctors at the negotiating table with government?" We bet it would be a lot more than $400!
But there's more. Not only do we have Craig Bromell on board as part of our team, we are also being guided by Stephen Skyvington, one of Canada's top public relations professionals and political strategists. Because it's not enough to be smart. You also have to be tough.
So, what are you waiting for? Don't let well-meaning amateurs determine your future. There's too much at stake here. It's time to stand up and be counted by joining DoctorsOntario. We promise not to let you—or your patients—down.
Please fax (416-412-7297 or 844-495-4349) or mail (900-45 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario, M2N 5W9) the membership form back to us as soon as possible. You can also join online by visiting our website (doctorsontario.ca).
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Stephen Skyvington at (416) 859-2239 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DoctorsOntario. Together, we’re stronger.
Douglas Mark, MD, Interim President
and the Board of DoctorsOntario
P.S. Help us spread the word and fight the good fight on your behalf. Urge your colleagues to visit our website at www.doctorsontario.ca and take out a membership or make a contribution. Unlike the OMA, DoctorsOntario is a completely voluntary, member-driven organization.