ONTARIO is introducing the next phase of transformation to the province’s health care system to improve results for patients and support the needs of an aging population, the government announced Monday.
The new plan – Patients First: Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care – outlines how the province will increase access to better and more coordinated care, and ensure the health care system is sustainable for generations to come.
This action plan focuses on four ambitious but achievable goals:
- Access: Providing patients with faster access to the right care, including:
- Faster access to appointments with primary care providers and specialists
- Ensuring that every Ontarian who wants one has a primary care provider
- Increased investments and shorter wait times for mental health services, including housing and employment supports to help people with their recovery
- Exploring appropriate expanded scope of practice for providers and more models for collaborative care
- Connect: Connecting people with the services they need to receive better coordinated and more integrated care in the community, closer to home, including:
- More nursing, personal support, home-making and rehabilitation therapy services at home
- Expanded use of technology and telemedicine, particularly in rural and remote communities
- Improved and better coordinated end- of-life care
- Improved dementia supports, including new memory clinics
- Inform: Providing people with the education, information and transparency they need to make the right decisions about their health, including:
- Additional measures to discourage harmful smoking behaviour and proposed legislation to require restaurants to post calorie information on menus
- New online resources to help people prevent illness, including a tool that assesses cancer risk and provides a personalized prevention plan
- Expanded patient engagement and consultation across the health care system
- Protect: Protecting our universal public health care system for generations to come, ensuring that decisions are based on value and quality, including:
- Best-in-class public reporting on areas like wait times, public drug programs and mental health to measure how t he health system is performing, improve transparency and shine a light on where improvements are necessary
- A new Patient Ombudsman to resolve complaints and ensure that the system is always focused on patients’ needs
Patients First: Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care is part of the Ontario government’s four-part economic plan to build Ontario up by investing in people’s talent and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
“We are transforming the health care system to improve the patient experience because we have a fundamental commitment to Ontarians to ensure patients are at the heart of our health care system. That is why access, transparency and patient engagement are at the core of the Patients First: Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care. Under this plan, Ontarians will have the information they need to make decisions to live healthy and stay healthy. Our plan will deliver better and faster access to quality health services, and we will protect those services for generations to come,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
- Since 2003, 5,650 more doctors and 24,060 more nurses are practising in Ontario.
- Ontario has doubled funding for home care since 2003.
- There are now 67 Health Links across Ontario, to bring together community health care providers to better coordinate care for patients with complex needs.
- By 2017, the government will have increased annual funding for mental health and addictions by a total of $176 million since the 2011 launch of its Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.
- The new action plan builds on the successes of the 2012 Action Plan for Health Care.