MPPs Kramp, Smith and Clark hail Ontario’s new Health Plan for breaking down barriers to Better Patient Care

Renewed, connected and sustainable health care system will make patient-centred health care the new provincial standard

Eastern Ontario — February 26, 2019 —  The local health team approach announced by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long Term Care as the Government of Ontario’s long-term plan to fix and strengthen the public health care system has been warmly welcomed by regional MPPs.

The new local health teams will put the focus firmly on the needs of patients and their families, not the health system.  Ontarians will have the option to securely access digital health services, such as making online appointments, talking to a specialist virtually, and having secure access to one’s own electronic health records. The local health teams will also handle recruitment to ensure they have enough doctors, nurses, homecare workers and other health professionals to serve their area.

“I’m proud that our government is committed to building a health-care system that ensures patients and families in every community across Ontario have access to better and more integrated health care. By focusing on better connected care, we’ll reduce wait times and improve the patient experience,” said Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

“We have seen patients and families getting lost in the health care system, falling through the cracks and waiting way too long for care,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte.  “This is why we are building a public health care system centred around the patient – and redirecting funding to front-line services – where it belongs.”

"This is what local residents and medical professionals have been asking us for," said Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington.  "Our government consulted, we carefully listened to those giving and receiving care, and we have acted, putting patient care first."

“The people of Ontario deserve a connected health care system that puts their needs first,” said Elliott. “At the same time, the people of Ontario deserve peace of mind that this system is sustainable and accessible for all patients and their families, regardless of where you live, how much you make, or the kind of care you require.”

Ontario’s new plan will improve access to services and patient experience by:

  • Organizing health care providers to work as one coordinated team, focused on patients and specific local needs. Patients would experience easy transitions from one health provider to another (for example, between hospitals and home care providers, with one patient story, one patient record and one care plan).
  • Providing patients, families and caregivers help in navigating the public health care system, 24/7.
  • Integrating multiple provincial agencies and specialized provincial programs into a single agency to provide a central point of accountability and oversight for the health care system. This would improve clinical guidance and support for providers and enable better quality care for patients.
  • Improving access to secure digital tools, including online health records and virtual care options for patients – a 21st-century approach to health care.

“If we expect real improvements that patients will experience first-hand, we must better coordinate the public health care system, so it is organized around people’s needs and outcomes. This will enable local teams of health care providers to know and understand each patient’s needs and provide the appropriate, high-quality connected care Ontarians expect and deserve,” said Elliott.

Ontario’s renewed patient-centric approach is paired with historic investments in long-term care for seniors and improved mental health and addictions services for families. Ontario is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to establish a comprehensive and connected system for mental health and addictions treatment, and adding 15,000 new long-term care beds over five years and 30,000 beds over 10 years.

Quick Facts

  • The government intends to introduce legislation that would, if passed, support the establishment of local Ontario Health Teams that connect health care providers and services around patients and families, and integrate multiple existing provincial agencies into a single health agency – Ontario Health.
  • The entire process will be seamlessly phased in to ensure that Ontarians can continue to contact their health care providers as usual throughout the transition process.
  • The government has consulted with patients, families, nurses, doctors and others who provide direct patient care, including the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine and its working groups, the Minister’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, and health system and academic experts.
  • Ontario currently has a large network of provincial and regional agencies, clinical oversight bodies and 1,800 health service provider organizations. This creates confusion for both patients and providers trying to navigate the health care system.

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