The doc­tors’ po­si­tion


A num­ber of On­tario’s top-billing doc­tors sent af­fi­davits to the prov­ince’s in­for­ma­tion and pri­vacy com­mis­sioner ex­plain­ing why they are op­posed to the re­lease of physi­cian-iden­ti­fied billings. Here are some of the rea­sons they pro­vided:

“Gross billings do not at all re­flect our take home pay. As small busi­ness own­ers, we have costs at­trib­uted to staffing, rental and high cap­i­tal costs. Fur­ther­more, we as physi­cians need to con­trib­ute and fund our own in­surances (like dis­abil­ity) and re­tire­ments.”

“Mak­ing pub­lic the gross billing amounts of the physi­cians is a gross mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the amount physi­cians take home as net profit. Per­son­ally I work in 2 large group prac­tices with 30+ staff. The over­head to run such a prac­tice is in ex­cess of 40% of gross billings.”

“My billings are the re­sult of pro­vid­ing care to a large pop­u­la­tion of (a) com­mu­nity. I do not take days off in the week . . . On av­er­age, I see 100 pa­tients a day, which is 4-5 times more than the av­er­age family doc­tor. I in­vested heav­ily in di­ag­nos­tic equip­ment and lasers. In most com­mu­ni­ties, these lasers are based in the hospi­tal and paid for by the gov­ern­ment.”

“There is a level of trust be­tween (pa­tients and physi­cians). Disclosure of such per­sonal in­for­ma­tion may af­fect that trust and neg­a­tively im­pact the pa­tient-physi­cian re­la­tion­ship.”

“This is a gross in­va­sion of pri­vacy. It sup­plies a valu­able tar­get for crime and mis­chief whether at my own home or through fraud, net­work hack­ing or other such means.”

“Ev­ery­thing should be done to pro­tect the hard work­ing doc­tors so that they do not be­come a tar­get of ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­ity. . . . I def­i­nitely do not want my family to be ha­rassed by ter­ror­ists or any­body else; for ex­am­ple, my family mem­bers could be kid­napped and asked for ran­som.”

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