MV drafting resolution opposing cuts to rural doctors

BARRY’S BAY – The Township of Madawaska Valley has had enough with ongoing provincial cuts to rural physicians.

Mayor Kim Love brought the issue for discussion at the April 7 regular council meeting.

She presented two letters, including an email from Valerie Foote, on behalf of the president of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), as well as a letter from Dr. C.R.S. Dawes, family physician at St. Francis Memorial Hospital.

Foote’s letter confirmed that cuts have begun and are already affecting patient care. The cuts largely focus on family practice and team-based models in family medicine.

“Like those being developed locally,” Mayor Love explained.

Dr. Dawes’ letter, meanwhile, wrote that a new contract was imposed on all doctors in Ontario by the government. In included a nine per cent reduction in payments to rural doctors, including those in Barry’s Bay. The new contract also includes the removal of several historically important incentives to encourage doctors to move to rural areas, Dr. Dawes wrote.

In five years from now, he explained, five of the current seven full time doctors practicing in the area will be retired or practicing at a reduced rate. 

Get your April 15, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.