I had an appointment early this week for the dreaded “annual physical”. My doctor is usually pretty upbeat but she was not a happy camper. She advised me that the OMA had concluded negotiations with the Province in terms of what services doctors will provide and how they will be paid for them.
WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.
I got a woman’s perspective, of course – but here are a few examples:
- Tests like PAPS will now be done only every 3 years
- Tests like Bone Density are also less frequent as well but I can’t remember – I think now it’s 5 years
- Quarterly diabetic checks will now be paid at 2/3 former rate – in other words, spend less time with each patient
The list was a long one and I don’t remember all she said. What I did hear is that we will get significantly less service and the doctors are not happy about that.
It seems to me that reducing the amount of preventive medicine currently being done is absolutely the wrong way to go about reducing healthcare costs. This will only cost more money down the road if health issues aren’t detected early and/or managed. Treating cervical cancer MUST cost far more than a PAPS test. Treating the associated illnesses that can come from diabetes that isn’t properly managed MUST cost far more than the quarterly visits to your GP. This seems so very shortsighted to me.
Worse still – no alternatives are being offered. If something is no longer going to be provided by our doctors – nor covered by OHIP, we should be able to get these services some other way and pay for them. This is my body. If I can’t get adequate medical care from my GP (and not through any fault of hers), I need to have alternatives. Where are they?
I immediately sent an email to my MPP – after all – that’s where these decisions are made. I hope everyone who reads this (and lives in Ontario) does the same thing. This is really hitting too close to home.
Now I am afraid.