Each of the ten doctors pictured above billed Ontario taxpayers more than $3 million in 2017-2018, according to a ground-breaking investigation by the Toronto Star. Kathleen Finlay, founder of the The Center for Patient Protection, was interviewed for the Star series.
Like all Canadian doctors, a large chunk of their liability insurance premium — more than 80 percent — was paid by Canadian taxpayers, too. Last year, Ontario forked over more than $326 million to support the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA), which is the organization that defends doctors against allegations that they harmed patients, including accusations of sexual misconduct. Three hundred million dollars is a lot of healthcare dollars that could be put to better use in an already over-stressed, under-resourced system. The gross income for the average Ontario family doctor is more than $400,000 annually.
What happens with the public money that goes to the CMPA? More often than not, it winds up causing more harm and distress to the patient/taxpayers who are providing it. With a war chest of more than $4.5 billion and a reputation for aggressively defending any doctor accused of wrongdoing with what one Ontario judge called a scorched earth policy, the CMPA represents an almost impossible barrier for ordinary patients and families seeking justice.
If that’s not perverse, I don’t know what is.
Our healthcare system should not do more to protect doctors than the patients they’ve harmed. Kathleen calls the CMPA a Frankenstein-like creation. It forces patients who already pay as taxpayers for the healthcare system to also pay for the legal defence of the very doctors who harmed them. As she told CTV National News, “If that’s not perverse, I don’t know what is.”
The Center was among the first to begin the long overdue campaign to end this outdated, unnecessary and offensive legal aid system for doctors.
Kathleen Finlay was interviewed on CTV National News with Sandie Rinaldo for the patient perspective on the CMPA.
Read Kathleen Finlay’s widely quoted article on the CMPA in The Huffington Post.
The Center for Patient Protection call for the elimination of taxpayer support of the Canadian Medical Protective Association cited in Gibson: Is It Time to Adopt a No‐Fault Scheme to Compensate Injured Patients? (University of Ottawa Law Review)