MONTREAL, May 31, 2012 - The Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA) feels obliged to add its voice to those of other medical associations urging the Ontario government and the Ontario Medical Association to return to negotiations on health-care reform.
"We are concerned that, with the heightened focus on fees, other innovations that ultimately could lead to improved delivery of care will be stifled because of the atmosphere of mistrust that results from unilateral decision-making," says Dr. Emil Schemitsch, president of the COA and head of the division of orthopaedic surgery at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital. "While the government's goal to contain health-care costs in keeping with inflation is understandable, it's approach is not. Rhetoric does not lead to reform. Due diligence by all parties does."
The Canadian Orthopaedic Association believes strongly that doctors are the key to improving and sustaining our health-care system. Making the most of doctors' knowledge and experience should pay huge dividends in terms of better delivery of care and elimination of waste. By way of illustration, the COA, through its affiliate Bone and Joint Canada, has developed a process for creating models of care that can be tailored to regional realities and specific sub-specialties. The models of care process can foster innovation and problem-solving, as it works out the kinks throughout the continuum of orthopaedic care. "Often solutions involve minor bits of reorganization and communications that in of themselves have little impact," says Dr. Schemitsch, "but when they are integrated with many other bits of reorganization and communications, their value increases exponentially. Ultimately, the resulting efficiencies can shorten a patient's length of stay in hospital, reduce costs and create the lasting benefit of a multi-disciplinary clinical network where there was none."
At a time when imagination, good will and resourcefulness are necessary more than ever to reduce costs and provide optimal delivery of care, Ontario's government and its doctors must "push the re-set button and start talking to each other again," says Dr. Schemitsch. "Ontarians demand nothing less."
The Canadian Orthopaedic Association speaks with a united voice on behalf of the orthopaedic community within Canada. The COA's mission: "Achieve excellence in orthopaedic care for Canadians."
For more information, contact:
CEO, Canadian Orthopaedic Association