Healthcare in Ontario: Socialist uniformity and government monopoly

The bottom line here is that Dr. Dockrill was providing additional services that people wante and were willing to pay for.  But because she is seen as a threat to socialized medicine, she has been harassed out of her practice and must close it. 

“The closure of the breastfeeding clinic at Mom and Baby Depot is another example of how government uses the words ‘collaboration’ and ‘patient-centered’ in promoting high-quality healthcare but limits innovation in providing such services,” Dockrill said.

Another sacrifice to the gods of socialist uniformity and government monopoly.

Jeff Goodall.

Whitby doctor closes clinic after OHIP bills questioned

Toronto Sun
Chris Doucette: Sept. 22nd, 2011

A Whitby doctor has decided to shut down her breastfeeding clinic rather than face further scrutiny from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Dr. Karen Dockrill said the closure of the drop-in clinic at Mom and Baby Depot, located on Dundas St. W., is unfortunate and will leave a lot of new mothers in Durham Region in the lurch.

“It was a very unique service and it will definitely have an impact on the community,” Dockrill said Wednesday.

The pediatrician has already been accused of professional misconduct by the College for charging an annual “membership” fee to patients who want “extended service,” — a practice Dalton McGuinty has shunned because it seems too much like privatized healthcare.

But the drop-in centre, which she opened in 2009 in her clinic, made a huge difference to those who were having difficulties breastfeeding, Dockrill said.

Dockrill said 56% of patients who attend the clinic are able to breastfeed exclusively up to five months, but only 15% of new moms in Durham who don’t attend her clinic are able to reach five months.

“Any breastfeeding mother could be seen at the clinic and receive care,” she explained.

The clinic was hosted by a nurse/lactation consultant who provided care under the direction of Dockrill, who was onsite for clinics and would see patients with the nurse when medical issues arose.

OHIP was billed for each patient who attended the clinic, Dockrill said, adding patients were not billed for the service.

However, Dockrill said the college recently questioned her clinic’s OHIP billing practices.

OHIP requires her to actually see each patient “eye-to-eye” before she can bill for the visit, she said.

“The closure of the breastfeeding clinic at Mom and Baby Depot is another example of how government uses the words ‘collaboration’ and ‘patient-centered’ in promoting high-quality healthcare but limits innovation in providing such services,” Dockrill said.

The fee covered things that are not covered by public insurance and those who paid it benefitted from one-on-one advice on a range of issues, among other services.

“Charging an annual fee for uninsured services is permissible, but there are some rules involved,” said Kathryn Clarke, CPSO spokesman.

One such rule is that patients must given the choice to pay for services as they come up, she said. It’s alleged Dockrill’s patients were not given that option.

The College also questions some aspects of Dockrill’s advertising for Mom and Baby Depot.

Dockrill will face a CPSO disciplinary hearing next month.

See original here.

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