Ontario Minister of Health Responds to CARP Poll on Physician Salaries

We invited all of the major political parties and stakeholder to comment on the findings of the latest CARP Poll on physician salaries.  Ontario Minister of Health Deb Matthews said the following:

Dear Members of CARP,

I want to take this opportunity to share with you some of the choices we are making in Ontario, so that we can expand care for our growing population of seniors.

I have tremendous respect for Ontario’s doctors.  I recognize and value the important work they do to deliver patient care in our communities each and every day.

It’s for good reason that physicians are well compensated for their vital work.  Doctors in Ontario bill an average of $385,000 a year, and many specialists bill more than twice that amount.  Our government has increased payments to the average physician by 75 per cent since 2003.

We’ve achieved great results for these investments.  Over two million more Ontarians now have a family doctor.  3,400 more family doctors and specialists have launched practices.  We have cut wait times for key procedures in half.

We will continue to increase our investment in health care so Ontarians get the care they need – and we will keep improving access to frontline care for patients.  For our growing population of seniors, that means more home care.

There are significant demands on our health care system, and it’s the government’s job to balance those demands.  We faced a choice:  either higher compensation for doctors, or home care for 90,000 more seniors.  A real pay freeze for Ontario’s doctors also allows us to fund 1,100 new doctors over the next two years.

Medical technology and best practices are evolving every day, which means many doctors can see more patients or perform more procedures in less time and with better results than in the past. That’s why we are updating certain physician fees, primarily for the highest-paid specialists, to reflect current medical practices and new technologies so that we can invest in more home and community care.

We’re asking everyone paid by tax dollars to do their part during these tough fiscal times – including doctors. We are asking them to put the interests of patients first.

We are fortunate to have the best doctors in the world and a great public health care system, but we must make the right choices today so that the system is there in the future for our children and grandchildren.

Deb Matthews
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care