Ontario government plans to recoup COVID-19 loans to province’s doctors
Published July 15, 2023 at 6:54 pm
TORONTO — The Ontario government says it plans to recoup loan payments issued to doctors at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic to cover their increased costs and loss of revenue from lower patient volumes.
In a memo issued to the Ontario Medical Association on Friday, which was obtained by The Canadian Press, the province says it is “critical” to recover more than $521 million in outstanding loan payments in order to fund other priorities.
Beginning next month, the Ministry of Health will deduct pay from physicians’ monthly OHIP payments over a one-year period, rather than the original five-month timeline it first proposed, with no interest charged.
The ministry says it was clear when it launched the COVID-19 Advance Payment Program in April 2020 that monthly loan payments doled out to eligible health-care providers would need to be paid back.
Since loan repayments began in April 2021, it says it has recovered nearly $139 million out of the total $660 million provided.
But after collecting the first round of instalments, the province paused the loan recovery process a month later “until further notice,” saying the resumption of payments would be “driven by the circumstances of the pandemic.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 15, 2023.
The Canadian Pressinsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising