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Talks between doctors and Ontario government restart

Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews

Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail

The Ontario Medical Association and the Ontario government say they've agreed to restart negotiations on a new fee agreement for the province's doctors.

On the eve of two crucial by-elections, both sides said they have agreed to work collaboratively to find efficiencies in the system to protect the improvements that have been made to patient care in recent years.

The OMA and the government said in a statement on Wednesday night that they believe that the health-care system is best served when doctors and government work together. Both sides say they're confident a new agreement can be reached that is in the best interest of patients, and is fair to taxpayers and doctors.

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Talks between the province and the OMA, which represents 25,000 doctors, broke off earlier this year and the government made regulatory changes to cut Ontario Health Insurance Plan fees and premiums

The OMA had said it offered to freeze doctors' fees for two years and find an additional $250-million in savings, but Health Minister Deb Matthews rejected the proposal.

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