In our practice, we primarily deal with pediatrics and vision rehabilitation, which means we see many patients with special needs and in an immunocompromised state.
We expect everything to change once we reopen. With our population of immunocompromised patients, there is no room for error. We need to ensure we have all the proper supplies and that the proper systems and protocols are in place to protect our patients and our staff. The current return-to-work plan will mean a drastically reduced patient load with increased expenses to ensure we are properly equipped.
We also worry about increased fear in the community. With extended waitlists and delays in seeing patients, we risk missing vital symptoms. The last thing we want is for people to wait until the last minute to see a doctor and for it to be too late. We need early intervention because when we don’t get to patients on time, we risk vision and we risk lives.
This will change the whole nature of our practice and those qualifying for our services. It is impossible to continue operating the way OHIP fees are set up. With the decreased number of pediatric patients we are able to see, and the impossibly low renumeration, we will be operating at a significant loss for each OHIP patient. This could force us to prioritize our private pay patients just to keep our doors open.
We care deeply for all of our patients. This is not what we want to implement, but it is what it will come to without immediate action and change.