Veteran Liberal MPP apologizes for 'doctors cheat' comment
MPP Ted McMeekin, who currently serves as the parliamentary assistant to Premier Kathleen Wynne, has apologized after he slagged physicians during a morning debate at Queen’s Park on Tuesday. (TORONTO SUN/FILES)
A long-time Liberal MPP and former cabinet minister is apologizing for insulting comments he directed at some doctors.
MPP Ted McMeekin, who currently serves as the parliamentary assistant to Premier Kathleen Wynne, slagged physicians during a morning debate at Queen’s Park on Tuesday.
At the time, Progressive Conservative MPP John Yakabuski was questioning why the government would need to have access to doctors’ private medical records.
“Because some doctors cheat,” McMeekin insisted, interrupting Yakabuski.
McMeekin later apologized: “Uncharacteristically, I misunderstood the topic of the debate in the House. My comment was in reference to issues around the OHIP billing system, and not the medical records of any doctor.
“I apologize to anyone who understandably may have been offended by my remarks.”
McMeekin said his wife is a doctor and that she, too, serves the people of the province well.
Tory leader Patrick Brown slammed McMeekin for his comments, saying they do little to improve the strained relationship between Ontario and its physicians. The province’s doctors have been without a contract for three years.
After a year of controversy and a rejected contract, both sides are trying to resume negotiations in the coming months.
“How can you re-build the relationship (with doctors) when you go around attacking them?” Brown said.
He called on Wynne to get involved and read the riot act to her caucus when it comes to how Ontario’s doctors have been treated.
“This has been a multi-year campaign by this government to attack the province’s doctors,” Brown said. “I can tell you, the physicians I’ve met around the province are so passionate about patient care. It’s just wrong.”