Chair's Letters

Messages from the current Chair of the SGFP


November 2022 Chair's Letter

Dear Colleagues,

As we all embrace the flu season along with all the other circulating viruses, I am reaching out to you with a few updates from the SGFP. As a community family physician, I understand the current pressures you are feeling as primary care continues to spiral downwards. Please know that your Section Executive continues to advocate for you as best as it can.

Members have contacted the SGFP with concerns regarding our ratified Physician Services Agreement (PSA). The SGFP would like to know how the current PSA will affect you and your practice. I ask you to answer via this survey.

Members Survey Responses
We would like to thank the many, many busy family physicians who took the time to provide details of the problems they are facing to share with our MPPs. Top concerns were: poor remuneration, too many forms, difficulty accessing specialists, shortage of family doctors, lack of locums, lack of team-based care and burnout. Also highlighted was the cognitive complexity of Family Medicine that cannot simply be offloaded to allied healthcare workers.

SGFP Townhall: Transitioning to the FHO model
The SGFP recognizes that many members still have questions on transitioning from FFS or FHG to the FHO model. In an effort to be more member responsive, we welcome you to join us on November 22 as OMA subject matter experts and SGFP panelists take you through the FHO transition requirements and process, followed by a live Q & A. Register in advance.

Negative Consequences of the PSA
The SGFP has received a flurry of emails from members regarding the negative consequences of our ratified PSA. These include the FFS cap limit, the extra imposed after hour coverage, ongoing inappropriate negation, and the virtual care billing restrictions. Please take the time to answer these survey questions on how the PSA is affecting you. The OMA has provided members with this PSA update/summary. Your section executive is advocating with the OMA and members should continue to send their PSA concerns to info@oma.org.

SGFP Website
I am happy to report that the SGFP website will be available soon. Our webmaster is EM2 DATA run by Dr. Greg Van de Mosselaer. Our first stage will include the updated and much awaited SGFP billing guide, information on the SGFP, practice information on how to manage inappropriate patient behavior, and various other links. As our website continues to grow, we plan to have a cellphone app and value-based opportunities for our members. Please support your section by contributing to our discretionary fund as this will help us develop our website.

I also want to thank our SGFP Website Working Group members for their work in developing our website: Dr. Iram Ahmed, Dr. Alykhan Abdulla, Dr. Vikesh Maraj and Dr. Sohal Goyal.

SGFP elections
The nomination period is now open for OMA elections and closes on November 24. The SGFP executive committee and its working groups benefit from diverse perspectives and opinions. Regardless of your stage or type of practice, please consider putting your name forward for election. The work is remunerated. Follow this link to nominate yourself.

Thank you for your ongoing dedication to our profession,

Dr. Cathy Mastrogiacomo
Chair, Section on General & Family Practice
chair@sgfp.ca


Chairs Letter October 3rd, 2022

October 3rd, 2022

Hello fellow family doctors,

The summer is over, and we are all back to our busy practices. My main goal as your Chair is to have a more member-responsive SGFP. Please read about some exciting SGFP initiatives that your executive has been busy planning.  

Remember to take the time to answer the survey questions below by October 31, 2022, to provide input in your executive’s work, with the goal of helping you - our members. Please note, members must use this survey link to provide their input.

SGFP website
The SGFP is developing a members’ only website with an aim to launch in November 2022. Our goal is to provide value, resources, connection, and opportunities to make your lives easier.

SGFP Advocacy
Ontario’s family physicians are the backbone of our health care system. Please attend our all-day, in-person Queen’s Park Advocacy Day on Monday, November 21. Details to follow. SGFP needs your support to advance our strategic priorities with our MPPs. NB: You may have recently received an email from SGFP Advocacy. Unfortunately, we were experiencing technical and server communication issues with the SGFP Advocacy e-mail address, but this has now been rectified. We apologize to everyone inconvenienced by this. Please contact us again at advocacy@sgfp.ca if your initial communication bounced back - we want to hear from you!

Burnout
A significant amount of burnout for family physicians is the delegation of tasks to family doctors from specialists. Thank you to all the members who took the time to reply to our last survey.  We received a multitude of responses highlighting the collective frustration of our profession. Our next step is to meet with section chairs to create a “memorandum of understanding” to address these issues. More to follow.

OMA Forms Survey
OMA will soon be issuing a survey to all physicians to inform the work of the Forms Committee. We encourage you to look out for it and complete it to ensure the perspectives of family physicians are reflected in the results and ensuing advocacy.

FHG to FHO transition
Are you transitioning from FHG to FHO? If you have questions on this transition and the steps involved, save November 22 in your calendar for an SGFP/OMA townhall.

Survey Questions (use survey link above to provide input)

1. What are your top challenges in family medicine that you want brought forward in our upcoming MPP Advocacy meetings? 

2. What content would you like to see in the SGFP’s upcoming website? 
- Common forms/requisitions used in family medicine
- Locum possibilities
- Billing information
- Reference resources for Family Practice (i.e., patient handouts, clinical guidelines)
- CME calendar of events for Family Medicine
- Discounts on medical supplies/services
- Other

Family medicine is the bedrock of our health care system. Our members need validation, encouragement, and support as we continue to provide exemplary care to our patients. Please support your section by contributing to our discretionary fund as we advocate for your needs.

Thank you for your ongoing dedication to our profession,

Cathy Mastrogiacomo MD CCFP FCFP
Chair, SGFP
chair@sgfp.ca


The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) facilitates the distribution of communications for its various Constituency Groups, and therefore the views and the opinions expressed in this communication may not reflect the views, policies, and opinions of the OMA. The OMA does not warrant the accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of the information contained in this communication, nor does it accept any responsibility for its contents.


Chair's Letter July 28th, 2022

Dear fellow family doctors,

Happy summer everyone! Your SGFP executive met on July 23 and here are some of the highlights to report back:

- Q888 code: I have been assured that the OMA’s Negotiation Task Force is in discussion with the Ministry of Health and will report back to me and membership as soon as they have something to share.

- We have heard loud and clear from members from our recent informal members’ poll (see below) related to the downloading of work to family doctors within the health care system. This has spurred conversation and ongoing exploration on the best path forward to advocate for our members. Stay tuned as we navigate this complex problem.

- Your executive met with our national and provincial college colleagues, Dr. Michael Green (CFPC) and Dr. Mekalai Kumanan (OCFP) as we find ways to leverage common ground for family doctors.

- The SGFP has begun its search for a new Executive Director as Allie Kinnaird’s time with us ends in early August.

- The SGFP is excited to announce a formal partnership with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health to advance policyrelevant knowledge on highperforming primary care.

- Your Section Executive committed to carry out the goals of our working groups, including establishing an SGFP website, while maintaining focus on the day to day needs of our members.

In order to assist the SGFP on next steps regarding burnout, please complete these follow up questions via this survey.
Deadline to submit: August 31, 2022.

See the results below from our last members’ poll. 
Q: Family Medicine is in crisis. Burn out is at a critical high. Have you found that the requests made by specialists to family doctors (e.g., post-op staple removal, communication of wait times, ordering lab work, form completion and arranging follow up referrals for tests they order) contributes to your burnout?
Q: Would you be supportive of an SGFP/OMA branded letter to send out to specialists outlining that this downloading of work (with examples) onto family doctors is not acceptable?
Q: Would it be helpful to remind specialists of their obligation with respect to CPSO policies on the management of test results and transitions in care?
Family medicine is the bedrock of our health care system. Our members need validation, encouragement, and support as we continue to provide exemplary care to our patients. Please support your section by contributing to our discretionary fund as we advocate for your needs.

Sincerely,

Cathy Mastrogiacomo MD, CCFP, FCFP
Chair, SGFP
chair@sgfp.ca

Chair's Letter June 9th, 2022

June 9, 2022

Dear fellow family physicians,

Your new SGFP executive held its first meeting of the year on June 4, 2022. A list of the 2022-23 SGFP Executive Committee members can be found at the end of this email.

We were pleased to have the OMA’s CEO, Mr. Allan O’Dette, and members of his senior staff attend our first meeting. Mr. O’Dette has agreed to have follow-up conversations with our section in order to improve collaboration and joint goal setting.

One of my aims for this year as your new Chair is to survey the membership to help guide the work of the section; please take the time to answer a few survey questions on physician burnout and the downloading of extra work to family doctors. Survey deadline: July 9, 2022.

A gentle reminder that we will be holding our first members’ townhall on Thursday, June 23 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. Please register for Virtual Care: What Has Changed. This townhall will be a refresher on the PSA changes to Virtual Care, including an opportunity for members to ask questions.

Your executive continues to work with our executive director, Allie Kinnaird, on its Strategic Initiatives including Tariff, Payment Reform, Ontario Health Teams, Virtual Care and Advocacy. We have also established several new working groups, including a Website Working Group, as the section plans to launch a members’ website with an updated and refreshed logo for the SGFP.

Finally, if you have not already contributed to the voluntary SGFP discretionary fund, you can pay using one of the following methods:

- Visit the OMA's website and pay online at MyAccount
- Contact the OMA's Membership Department and request to pay your SGFP dues over the phone. The telephone number is 1-800-268-7215.

Your support for our work is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Dr. Cathy Mastrogiacomo
Chair, SGFP 
chair@sgfp.ca

SGFP Executive Committee (2022-23)
Dr. Vikesh Maraj, District 1, Officer*
Dr. Gordon Barry Schacter, District 2
Dr. David Schieck, District 3, Past-Chair*
Dr. Darija Vujosevic, District 4, Treasurer*
Dr. Iram Fatima Ahmed, District 4
Dr. Sohal Vinit Goyal, District 5
Dr. Ali Damji, District 5
Dr. Salesh Kumar Sonpal Budhoo, District 5
Dr. Matthew J. Schurter, District 6
Dr. David Barber, District 7, Vice-Chair*
Dr. Lee Donohue, District 8
Dr. Alykhan Abdulla, District 8, Officer*
Dr. Lisa Marie Habermehl, District 10
Dr. Cathy Mastrogiacomo, District 11, Chair*
Dr. Dominik Nowak, District 11
Dr. Allan Studniberg, District 11
Dr. Marni Allyson Brooks, District 11
Dr. Sharadindu Rai, Member-at-Large
Dr. Ross Male, Member-at-Large

*Members of the SGFP Coordinating Team (CT)

Please feel free to connect to your leaders above via the Physician Leadership Contact Page.  


Chair's Letter May 2022

Dear members,

The SGFP had its Annual General Meeting* on May 6 and as your new chair, I would like to thank those of you who took the time to attend. For those of you who missed our meeting, I would like to say hello and welcome to an exciting new year for our section. As a brief introduction to my background: I have been in practice for the past 32 years, having moved through all models of primary care from straight Fee-for-Service to FHG to FHO. I am currently part of a FHO in Scarborough but have always practiced solo.  Until recently, I was the chair of the MIG of Primary Care Solo Doctors, but I am now ready to hit the ground running as your new chair. 

*A recording of the 2022 AGM is now available for viewing.

As I begin my term, my main priorities as your chair include improving communication with members, surveying the membership to help guide the work of the section, exploring options to improve SGFP’s negotiating power with the OMA, and working towards the launching of an SGFP website. My hope is to improve the value of the SGFP for you - my fellow "specialists in primary care”.

As a first step in this process, we have heard loud and clear the confusion regarding the new rules around when and how to bill for Virtual Care. The SGFP’s first townhall will be on Virtual Care - What has Changed. Please look forward to this exciting meeting in June - details to follow.

Finally, please welcome your newly elected Executive who will assist me in advancing our section’s priorities:

- Dr. Cathy Mastrogiacomo, Chair, District 11  
- Dr. David Barber, Vice-Chair, District 7
- Dr. David Schieck, Past-Chair, District 3
- Dr. Darija Vujosevic, Treasurer, District 4
- Dr. Vikesh Maraj, Officer, District 1
- Dr. Alykhan Abdulla, Officer, District 8
- Dr. Gordon Barry Schacter, District 2
- Dr. Iram Fatima Ahmed, District 4
- Dr. Sohal Vinit Goyal, District 5
- Dr. Ali Damji, District 5
- Dr. Salesh Budhoo, District 5
- Dr. Matthew J. Schurter, District 6
- Dr. Lee Donohue, District 8
- Dr. Lisa Habermehl, District 10
- Dr. Dominik Nowak, District 11
- Dr. Allan Studniberg, District 11
- Dr. Marni Brooks, District 11
- Dr. Sharadindu Rai, Member-at-Large
- Dr. Ross Male, Member-at-Large

Looking forward to an exciting year,

Dr. Cathy Mastrogiacomo
Chair, Section on General and Family Practice
Chair@sgfp.ca