Defending the doctor’s note (Editor’s notes)

Notes act as a deterrent for those who would abuse the system
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/13/2009

There’s a storm brewing over doctors’ notes, and it’s being fed by the H1N1 flu virus, which is ravaging most parts of Canada.

Doctors across the country are appealing to employers to drop the requirement — at least temporarily — for employees who take sick days to get a note from their physician explaining the absence. The logic of medical professionals is sound and pretty tough to argue with.

“Employers need to recognize that, by requiring a sick note, they are encouraging those who are experiencing their worst symptoms and are most infectious to go out, when they should be home in bed,” said Suzanne Strasberg, president of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), adding the health-care system needs to focus on patients who need care, not those who “just need a note.”