CAPA Statement on Ford Government’s Exclusion of Physician Assistants from the “Pandemic Pay” Wage Increase

The Canadian Association of Physician Assistants issued the following statement after the Ontario government announced a new list of health care workers who are eligible for the COVID-19-related wage boost.

“On Tuesday the Ford government expanded the list of workers eligible for “pandemic pay” to include Paramedics, Respiratory Therapists, and Public Health Nurses, but not Physician Assistants (PAs).

During the worst public health crisis of the past century, we are concerned that this sends the wrong message to PAs working on the front lines every day and we urge the Premier and Minister of Health to reconsider.

As medically trained clinicians, PAs are trusted members of health care teams who work alongside physicians, nurses, and other professions in the same challenging conditions. Since the beginning of the outbreak, PAs have been assessing patients in emergency departments, providing medical care in critical care units, and swabbing patients in testing centres. We have PAs on dedicated COVID-19 hospital wards and being hired to help with the increased number of ICU patients. PAs in long-term care have been caring for older patients with complex needs who are at the highest risk of dying from COVID-19.

The recognition that PAs are medical professionals providing direct, frontline patient care is important to morale, especially when we are putting ourselves at risk to care for others. Like many frontline health care professionals, we are facing great challenges and making significant personal sacrifices to help keep Ontarians safe and healthy.

CAPA is the national voice for PAs and represents the interests of 500 PAs in Ontario. Since the government’s initial announcement on April 25, we have heard from our members who are shocked and disappointed by this oversight. As the voice of PAs, we will continue to advocate strongly for our profession to be appropriately recognized.”

Leslie St. Jacques, CCPA

Sahand Ensafi, CCPA
Provincial Director, Ontario

About the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants
The Canadian Association of Physician Assistants is the national voice of Physician Assistants in Canada. We support quality standards and competencies and help establish the profession within the national health care framework. Learn more: