May 1, 2020
Dear Premier Ford and Deputy Premier Elliott,
We are writing today regarding your government’s continued exclusion of physician assistants (PAs) as frontline health care workers who are eligible for temporary pandemic payments.
Your policy is an excellent measure that supports a wide range of health care workers who put their lives at risk every day during COVID-19. But we are disheartened that PAs remain excluded from the list of eligible workers, even following your clarification on April 28 where you rightly added paramedics, respiratory therapists, mental health and addictions workers in hospitals, and public health nurses.
We feel it is important for you to understand the impact of your decision on the morale of frontline PAs who are working under the most challenging circumstances that many have ever faced, just like their MD, RN, NP, and RT colleagues. I encourage you both to read the attached messages from our colleagues that describe in detail what they are doing for Ontarians.
PAs are some of the most flexible health care professionals working in our health system today. Our profession has been quickly mobilized to meet the evolving needs of emergency departments, cancer centres, surgical practices, long-term care residences, and many other clinical settings. And we have no doubt that as the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, we will all step up in new ways, whenever we are called upon, for the citizens of Ontario.
During the past month we have seen your government act quickly to address this crisis and we are all grateful for your decisive action and empathy. We are asking you today to do the right thing by making Ontario’s PA workforce eligible for the pandemic support.
We would be pleased to speak to you or your staff at any time. And again, on behalf of our members we thank you for your leadership during this very difficult period.
Leslie St. Jacques, CCPA
Sahand Ensafi, CCPA
Provincial Director, Ontario