The OMA remains a hive of activity on many fronts.
Under our framework for binding arbitration between the OMA and the government, negotiations on a new 4-year contract covering April 2017-March 2021 began in early September. As Section Chair, I am receiving confidential updates on the progress of these talks.
The OMA has established a Relativity Review Committee, and I have made submissions on behalf of our Section. We have joined other sections in creating an OMA Income Equity Coalition to improve relativity between different sections of the OMA.
We continue to be represented at all regular and special meetings of OMA Council, at all Medical Assembly meetings and teleconferences, and at all meetings and teleconferences related to OMA initiatives.
This will be my last year as OMA Section Chair, and we are working hard on succession planning. Our current Rheumatology Section Executive remains: Chair and Delegate Philip Baer, Vice-Chair Nikhil Chopra and Secretary Julie Kovacs. If you are interested in a role on our Section executive, please let me know.
Keep an eye on the progress of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act through the Ontario legislature. If adopted, it will increase the minimum wage to $14/hour on Jan. 1, 2018 and to $15/hour on Jan. 1, 2019. Employees will be entitled to 3 weeks of paid vacation after 5 years of service with the same employer. Employees will be entitled to 10 days of Personal Emergency Leave per year, including 2 paid days. Many other regulatory changes are also part of this bill.
You can monitor the MOHLTC website under the Health Professionals tab for new developments: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/. There are links to OHIP Physician Bulletins: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/ohip/bulletins/ and to updates regarding the OPDP formulary, including new EAP listings:
You may also keep abreast of OMA issues by reading the Ontario Medical Review (OMR), the OMA monthly magazine available in print form and on the OMA website: www.oma.org
You can find a link to OHIP Billing Resources and OMA Quick Reference Guides at www.oma.org/sections/billings-and-agreement
Philip A. Baer MDCM, FRCPC, FACR
Chair, OMA Section of Rheumatology