Physicians in Canada’s largest province, Ontario, have rejected a contract negotiated between the Ontario Medical Association and the provincial health ministry. The more than two-year old dispute shows no sign of ending.
Every Canadian is covered by his provincial government’s health plan. So, doctors have only one plan with which to contract. Each doctor cannot decide how much he wants to charge his patients. Instead, he is dependent on a centrally bargained contract which determines fees for every procedure and practice from the skyscrapers of downtown Toronto to windswept hamlets on the frozen shores of Hudson’s Bay.