OPA Psychotherapy Initiative
Many of our members have expressed concern about the potential changes to remuneration for physician-delivered psychotherapy through OHIP and wish to help. There have also been requests about accessing more information for the evidence supporting the value of long-term psychotherapy. Below are pertinent resources.
If you feel comfortable connecting with politicians, you can contact your local conservative MPP and/or the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. Attached is a letter template. Contact information for MPPs can be found at:https://www.ola.org/en/members/current. Minister Christine Elliott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To help track action e-mails, consider copying your message to: email@example.com.
There is also an online petition available at: https://north99.org/tell-ford-hands-off-our-health-care/. Although there is a request for money for those who wish to contribute financially, it is not a requirement and it will still send your message even if no payment is made.
Patient Advocacy Tools
Attached is a patient information sheet. It is in Word format for ease of adaptation to your specifications. The legal department of the OMA indicated that physicians can leave materials in waiting rooms to ask for advocacy. There is also no policy at the CPSO prohibiting such action. What and how to discuss this matter with patients depends on your clinical judgement with each individual patient. At this point, it is important for the MOHLTC to hear from patients. There have been lots of e-mails from psychiatrists.
There is also a Web page on the Patient Information Sheet where patients can sign up to receive further updates and ideas.
Attached is a template for e-mailing MPPs which can also be placed in the waiting room.
There was an opinion article by Norman Doidge (see link below) in The Globe and Mail in April 2019 about the importance of continuing full OHIP coverage for long-term psychotherapy.
If you support this cause, you may wish to consider disseminating the article through your networks, providing positive feedback on it via social media or via the article's comment section, and/or having a copy of it available in your waiting room.
For my update to the American Psychiatric Association on this issue, you can go to:
For Dr. Javeed Sukhera's interview with the The London Free Press, you can go to:
For information about culturally-sensitive treatments for depression, read the National Post's article at: https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/lets-talk-about-culturally-sensitive-treatments-for-depression.
For Dr. Wei-Yi Song opinion piece in the Toronto Star regarding the proposed limits to psychotherapy, you can go to:
For Dr. Doug Weir's letter to editor "Long-term therapy is only one cog in a large wheel of services", you can go to:
OMA Committee to Preserve Publicly-Funded, Physician-Delivered Psychotherapy
Attached please find:
Attached please find the Clinical Necessity Guidelines for Psychotherapy from the Coalition for Psychotherapy Parity.
Those who are interested in learning more about the Coalition can go to: https://www.coalitionforpsychotherapyparity.org/
Dr. Renata M. Villela, MD, FRCPC
Psychotherapy Initiative Lead
Ontario Psychiatric Association