Ottawa man finds out in letter he been dumped by his doctor

An Ottawa man is speaking out after being dumped by his doctor. 

The doctor says she is reducing the size of her practice due to the "current political reality of practicing medicine in Ontario."

It’s a blow by mail delivered in a letter to Fred Martin.

“It’s very disheartening,” Martin said as he read the letter to CTV news.

“I am writing to you today to advise you that I have made a decision to reduce the size of my practice.”

The letter was sent by Dr. Lynsey Bartlett, Martin's family doctor for several years. She was taking new patients when his last doctor retired.

“She was fabulous,” he says, “I had trust with this doctor.”

Martin says it came out of the blue, “It would have been better if the last time I was there she had said ‘we have decided to make changes to our practice.’ It's very impersonal.”

The reason given, according to the letter, was that, “The current political reality of practicing family medicine in Ontario has made our practice model unsustainable.”

It’s not clear whether the doctor’s decision was based in the federal government's contentious tax changes for physicians who are incorporated.  CTV Ottawa tried to reach Doctor Bartlett but the office doors on Friday afternoon were locked.

The Ontario Medical Association had this to say:

“This is the exact type of action we are worried about becoming the norm with tax changes the federal government is proposing.”

“Her assistant said I should call my member of parliament,” Martin said, “I don't understand why I should do it.  It’s not me; I’m basically a taxpayer paying taxes. The fight is with the doctor not with me.”

Martin has battled cancer twice.  He says Dr. Bartlett was excellent.

“Through my cancer she was very helpful and calming and stuff like that and now I have to go find somebody else. I heard it's very difficult to find a new doctor and stuff like that. It could take us months.”

The letter contains an apology for any distress, “I apologize in advance for the distress this decision may cause you.”

Martin hasn't spoken to his doctor directly but her office told him he is one of about 200 patients being let go

“I'm sure there are a lot of other people that are upset because the assistant said they were getting a lot of calls.”