The Ottawa Citizen published my letter on patient accountability. This is one very important aspect of the tentative Physician Services Agreement, that the government finally acknowledges a need for patients to take responsibility for their own healthcare.
Here is the text of the letter:
Thank you to Mr. Reevely for interviewing Dr. Walley and reporting so reasonably on the tentative Physician Services Agreement.
I do want to take issue with Mr. Reevely’s characterization of “patient accountability” as “code for giving people reasons to go to the doctor less”. To me and my colleagues, this means that my patients will be asked to take some responsibility for their health care and its cost. It means they will ensure that their health card is up to date, that they will go to their own doctor’s after hours clinic and not a walk-in clinic, that they will honour their specialist appointments. My physician colleagues and I believe that patients should realize the role of unnecessary tests and procedures in driving costs in the system and work with their doctors to limit these. Most of my patients understand this. Since the sixteen year olds who are my patients understand these concerns, I believe everyone will.
Including patients as accountable partners in health care is very important for the sustainability of the health system.