Understanding Bill 41 – How it could affect you as a Patient

Have you heard about Bill 41? Also known as the Patients First Act, this bill  was reintroduced at Queen’s Park last month. Bill 41 imposes radical changes on how primary care is delivered in Ontario. Calling it a ““Bureaucracy First and Patients Last Act”, Dr Nadia Alam who works in Georgetown, says “Bill 41 will not solve any real-world issues that real-world Ontarians face: Lack of family doctors, specialists, imaging and ORs. Too many patients fighting over too few resources have created ballooning wait times.

Instead, the act adds layers of expensive bureaucracy, promotes bungling employees, and gives the government unprecedented — and unnecessary — access to privileged information, including patient medical records.”

According to coalition of Ontario Doctors website, There are five things about Bill 41 that should deeply concern every Ontarian as a patient:

  1. Access to your doctor will be decided by government employees.
  2. Your confidential patient health records can be accessed by bureaucrats.
  3. Funding will be taken away from hospitals and the frontline care provided by doctors and nurses to instead hire more government bureaucrats.
  4. Provincial medical standards will be decided by bureaucrats and politicians instead of by medical experts.
  5. The government will have control over all aspects of your healthcare with more emphasis on saving money instead of saving lives.

It is important to note that this Bill was created without any meaningful collaboration with doctors who have experience and knowledge about patient care.

“Instead of a meaningful consultation, the government continues to push through Bill 41,” said Dr. Virginia Walley, OMA President. “This is yet another example of this government’s inability to work constructively with doctors.”  

I call on the Ontario Liberal government to make proper changes to Bill 41 and I hope that people in Ontario will educate themselves about this extremely flawed scheme!

Image Source: The always funny and on-point, award-winning political cartoonist, Steve Nease

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