The new Ontario Health Action Plan puts a lot of emphasis on primary care. Changing the way the doctors practice in order to divert patients from hospitals seems to be a major goal.
But how is the government going to do this? It's unlikely the doctors will agree to change their practices simply to keep the government happy.
In the past we have seen a lot of efforts by the Liberal government to change primary care practices. The establishment of Family Health Teams (FHTs) come to mind. But a recent study indicates the doctors who made the switch to FHTs saw WHOPPING big increases in their incomes. And certainly government funding for the docs has gone, way, way up.
Negotiations between the doctors and the Ontario government are upcoming. The Health Minister recently suggested to the Ottawa Citizen editorial board that the doctors will take zeroes. We will see if that is the whole story, or just for the fee schedule.