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Ontario doctors vote to reject the tentative agreement with the Ontario government

Members of the Ontario Medical Association voted on Sunday, August 15 to reject the tentative Physician Services Agreement with the Ontario government, first announced July 11. With fifty-five percent voter turnout, 63.1 percent of OMA members voted against the agreement. This outcome leaves the province’s doctors without an agreement.

The OMA reports that it will immediately convene a meeting of its Board of Directors, Consult with members to identify priorities for future negotiations, and meet with the Ontario government.

The meeting of members was chaired by Dr. Alan Hudak, the Chair of the Council, advised by legal counsel Hartley Nathan, author of Nathan’s Company Meetings and one of the country’s top corporate governance lawyers. Members wishing to speak lined up at microphones labeled either “For” or “Against” in an effort to retain order. The meeting was live streamed online for the benefit of those who were unable to attend in person. Members were able to submit their proxy votes online before the meeting.

Along with the vote on the Physician Services Agreement, two other resolutions were put to a vote:

Resolution that in the future the Directors and/or Council should not negotiate an agreement with the Ministry that does not include a right to refer disputes concerning implementation of the agreement to binding arbitration.

Resolution that in all future negotiations between the Association and the Ministry every OMA Section Chair should be kept fully apprised throughout the negotiations of the ongoing discussions including the issues, the proposed terms and the status and that each should be given timely and meaningful opportunities to provide input on such issues and terms as the discussions evolve, and again before the Association agrees to a form of Agreement.

Statement from the Minister of Health on Physician Services Agreement

Santis Principal Patrick Nelson’s analysis published last week in the Toronto Star.