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Have you been removed from your family doctor's patient list for visiting an Ontario walk-in clinic?

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Some Ontarians are expressing frustration after they said that they were removed from their family doctor’s patient list for visiting a walk-in clinic in a process being called “de-rostering.”

Multiple people told Newstalk 1010’s Jerry Agar last week that after seeking care at another clinic they discovered their family physician had removed them from the patient list.

One individual from Brampton, Ont. said his family doctor is in downtown Toronto and he doesn’t go unless his need is great. Instead, he visits a walk-in clinic near his home.

When he required a document signed and went to his family doctor, he was informed he was “de-rostered.”

“They went on the computer and they're like, oh we don't even have you on here anymore,” the caller told Newstalk 1010.

“I didn't get a letter or anything.”

Similar stories were shared throughout the Newstalk1010 segment, of patients who were informed after the fact that they would no longer be a patient at their primary care office following multiple walk-in clinic visits. In some cases the patient was given a formal letter and in other cases the patient found out when they tried to make an appointment.

None of the patients knew this was a possibility, although one Newstalk 1010 caller said that some clinics have started putting signs up in their office.

The process of de-rostering is specific to physicians associated with a Family Health Organization or Network. According to the province, these doctors are compensated through a combination of fee-for-service and pay per patient. When a patient receives care outside of the network, the ministry deducts that cost from a potential bonus payment that can be earned.

A spokesperson for the minister of health confirmed this practice, saying in a statement that “in certain circumstances, when a patient receives care from more than one health care provider, an enrolling physician may decide to de-enroll a patient.”

The spokesperson said the physician can continue to provide services to the patient on a fee-for-service basis through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

CTV News Toronto wants to hear from you. Have you been removed from a physician’s patient list for using an outside service? How were you informed and what impact has this had on you or your family’s health?

Share your story by emailing us at torontonews@bellmedia.ca with your name, general location and phone number in case we want to follow up. Your comments may be used in a CTV News Toronto story.

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