Several program cuts to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) just came into effect on Tuesday, October 1 that are supposed to improve the quality of patient care. The OHIP changes were proposed on August 22 of this year, and the Ontario Ministry of Health claims that this will save taxpayers $83 million a year. Physician-led Appropriateness Working Group (AWG) reviewed several OHIP-insured services earlier this year and deemed some of them unnecessary or overused, which led to the cuts.

AWG "used evidence, best practices and expert opinion to identify and update the delivery of certain services to help ensure the most effective care for Ontario patients," said the news release

While a variety of things have been cut from OHIP, some of these new cuts that will be hitting Ontarians include some urine pregnancy tests, removal of ear wax, and "unnecessary" x-rays. 

Most of these procedures have been deemed medically unnecessary, which has led to them being cut in an attempt to make the system more efficient. 

While the Ontario Government ensures that these medical procedures have been cut as they are not necessary for Ontarians' health, many people across the province seem to disagree. 


Since news of these cuts has surfaced, people across the province are already petitioning against some of the changes. 

Ontarians are also coming forward to complain about these cuts, one stating, "More proof of your incompetence & total disregard 2 Ontario's needs."

While another user states, "Under Ford OHIP coverages has been reduced to the bare bones."

 

Here is a list of some of the changes:

  1. Ontarians are no longer eligible for up to $400 per day for out-of-country hospital care under the OHIP, starting January 1, 2020.
  2. Dipstick urine pregnancy tests performed in a physician’s office will only be covered by OHIP when it's imperative to determine pregnancy to prevent patient harm.
  3. When there is no suspicion or evidence of a problem with the patient's larynx, completing an additional examination of the larynx as part of the examination of the stomach is not medically necessary or helpful to the patient.
  4. Patients who ask their doctor to remove ear wax when it's not medically necessary may be required to pay.
  5. OHIP will no longer cover post-coital testing of cervical mucus, which is an outdated test and no longer considered best practice.
  6. Loop recorders, an older and outdated form of technology used to evaluate cardiac electrical activity in outpatients, will no longer be funded.
  7. Avoiding unnecessary x-rays of the sinuses will prevent patients from being needlessly exposed to radiation.
  8. Pre-operative "history and physical" assessments are often requested by surgeons and performed by family doctors or specialists as an administrative requirement by hospitals. These assessments are not medically necessary.
  9. Doctor house calls will no longer be available to those who are not elderly or frail.

Here's some more detailed information on the OHIP travelling cuts. OHIP+ changes may also be of interest. 


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