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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ontario’s doctors’ fight for patient privacy pays off - OMA press release



Ontario’s doctors’ fight for patient privacy pays off

 press release

Toronto, ON Nov. 25, 2016 – For months, doctors have been challenging the provincial government on its flawed legislation to redesign primary care – Bill 41. The legislation proposes sweeping changes to the way care is delivered and the ability of government investigators to have access to patient’s private and confidential health records, without warrant or consent.
Following the appearance of Dr. Stephen Chris, President Elect of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) at a public hearing on Bill 41, the government indicated that it is planning to bring forward a number of changes to protect patient privacy next week in committee.
“The Minister of Health appears to have recognized that patient privacy must never be compromised, and has indicated a willingness to take the necessary steps to protect it,” said Dr. Virginia Walley, President of the OMA. “It is unfortunate that patient privacy was left so vulnerable under Bill 41- if physicians were consulted and listened to, government could have gotten this right the first time.
There are still aspects of Bill 41 that remain deeply concerning to doctors. Bill 41, as written, will allow government to dictate the kind of care doctors should provide to patients. The legislation increases the amount of red-tape and paper work for doctors, taking precious time away from providing direct patient care. Additional bureaucracy is a prominent feature of Bill 41, with the creation of 80 Sub-LHINs that will siphon health-care dollars away from the tests and treatments patients need.
“The Ontario government has been quick to reassure the public that doctors were consulted on Bill 41, but it is clear from the changes being implemented at such a late stage that we did not have very important and crucial conversations.” said Dr. Walley. “More than 80 per cent of Ontarians trust doctors to make decisions about their health-care system, which is not surprising when our current government is busy writing laws that put their interests ahead of those of patients.”
The OMA’s submission and proposed amendments to Bill 41 are available upon request.

For more information, please contact:
Danielle Milley, Senior Advisor Media Relations
Office: 416-599-2580 or 1-800-268-7215 ext. 3008
Mobile: 647-300-0081
Email: danielle.milley@oma.org

Nadia Daniell-Colarossi, Manager Media Relations
Office: 416-340-2970 or 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2970
Mobile: 416-804-4600
Email: nadia.daniell-colarossi@oma.org

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