Ontario Government Must Resume Respectful Bargaining With Doctors Without Undue Delay – NDP Leader

A Statement by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted August 16th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park, Toronto – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement urging the province’s Liberal government to resume respectful bargaining with doctors without undue delay.

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath

“The Premier (Kathleen Wynne) must admit, this August 16th, that her Liberal government has broken trust with Ontario’s doctors and the families they serve. The result of this weekend’s vote is just the latest symptom of the growing crisis in health care under this Premier’s watch.

The Liberals say they need to take the coming weeks to reflect on their next steps, but they’ve had two and a half years and they’ve failed to get the job done. Now is not the time for the Premier or Health Minister to hide. Families across Ontario need the government to resume respectful bargaining with Ontario’s doctors without undue delay.

The Ontario Liberals seem to forget that this is about people. Without our doctors, nurses, and health care workers, there is no health care. But under the Liberals, we’ve all seen cuts to health care, year after year.

Nurses and health care workers are being fired, hospitals are overcrowded, and families are being forced to wait far too long for the care they need. The only way to turn the corner is for the Premier to stop cutting health care and to stop fighting with health care providers.

It’s time to start working with doctors, nurses and all the dedicated people working in our health care system on behalf of all Ontario families.” 

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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


One response to “Ontario Government Must Resume Respectful Bargaining With Doctors Without Undue Delay – NDP Leader

  1. How many workers in industry or other services would go two or three years without a contract? Would industrial workers go on strike? Postal workers? Teachers? Cab drivers? Now, have doctors ever completely withdrawn their services? How about nurses? There are several reasons for this.

    #1 – Health care workers are ESSENTIAL!

    #2 – Health care workers have ETHICS and a RESPONSIBILITY to the public. They could never, with a clear conscience, walk out on their patients. For example, if a nurse refuses to stay past her shift for a transfer they can be threatened with a charge of abandonment. They have patients, not customers. They produce health for humanity, not disposable things or produce for sale. People are not “products”.

    3 – Try closing down hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices for a single day. It would be a disaster. Close schools for a few days or stop extracurricular activities and what would happen? A bit of inconvenience. People treat health care workers like they are simply obligated to be at the beck and call of the public and how dare they make reasonable demands for the life saving services they provide.

    4 – What kind of hours do these people put in? Some have almost no private and family life at all. My doctor has offices in two towns and seems to be at one or the other from early morning until 7 or 8 PM. I’m sure he gets frequent calls in the night for emergencies. Does that happen to factory workers?

    I can recall the nurse’s union (formed long after their trade and industry contemporaries, heck, they were only predominantly women) signing a contract three years after the old one had expired and, in fact, by the time it was signed, the new one had also already expired. In addition, when pay equity was first attempted by the clueless government, nurses were equated with pastry chefs!!!! So much for the value of health care. The government uses binding arbitration to settle these disputes. They don’t care how long it takes.

    Something the public doesn’t consider when they think about how much doctors earn is, they have to provide savings for their retirement, they have immense educational bills to pay off after years of university, particularly if they are specialists, some have exorbitant insurance fees (eg., OB/GYN), they must maintain offices and staff as well as staff to do their paperwork. How many of us have all of those bills hanging over our heads?

    Now, how about some comparative salaries. Dr Eric Hoskins, the Minister of Health, costs tax payers, according to the Toronto Sun, 7.7 MILLION annually when his salary, deputies, constituency office, communications and office operating costs are figured in. Meanwhile, according to the same article, TVO’s host Steve Paikin made $308,000 last year. The Pan Am games secretary made $300,000. How many lives did they save? How many calls do they get at 3am? How many freebies do they get?

    Health care workers are a keystone in our society. They deserve to be treated well or we will lose them by retirement or a brain drain to the US. Is that really what we want or need? We need more doctors, not fewer. Will we have to go to a US style system for doctors to be well paid as the government tries to abrogate its responsibility for our system? God help us if that happens because our health care taxes are FAR less than private premiums. Our system costs far less per capita than in the US thanks to eliminating the greedy private insurance company middle men who do nothing but collect cash. People often bitch about their doctor or hospitals but what would you do if they were gone?


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