NDP promises law to name physicians, amounts they bill OHIP

Ontario's New Democrats say they'll introduce legislation to force the government to disclose the names of physicians who bill the province's health insurance system and the amounts they charge each year.

Ophthalmologist charges OHIP $6 million, but names of top-billing doctors kept secret

Figures show an ophthalmologist was the highest paid physician in Ontario in 2013, billing over $6 million, while another two doctors charged over $4 million, and 28 billed over $2 million. (Stock photo/Canadian Press)

Ontario's New Democrats say they'll introduce legislation to force the government to disclose the names of physicians who bill the province's health insurance system and the amounts they charge each year.

NDP health critic France Gelinas says there is "no valid reason" the province should not make public the names of physicians and the amounts they bill OHIP.

She says the province spends $11 billion a year on physician compensation, but no one can access details on which doctors get the most money.

After contract talks with the Ontario Medical Association broke off last week, Health Minister Eric Hoskins said there were 400 doctors who billed over $1 million each last year but wouldn't identify them.

Figures show an ophthalmologist was the highest paid physician in Ontario in 2013, billing over $6 million, while another two doctors charged over $4 million, and 28 billed over $2 million.

But all the public can find out is that radiologists and cardiologists were the next highest billing physicians by specialty after the ophthalmologists.

The OMA, which represents 28,000 doctors, also refuses to release names but says physicians with higher billings often have high overhead costs.

Gelinas says most of the top-billing doctors are surgical specialists using technological advances that allow procedures to be done much quicker than before, but adds the rate of pay remains the same.

The average Ontario doctor bills OHIP $360,000 a year, but must pay staff and any office expenses out of that amount.

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