TORONTO – Ontario is introducing the next phase of transformation to the province’s healthcare system to improve results for patients and support the needs of an aging population. The new plan – Patients First: Ontario’s Action Plan for Healthcare – outlines how the province will increase access to better and more coordinated care.
Access, transparency and patient engagement are at the core of the Patients First: Ontario’s Action Plan for Healthcare, said Dr. Eric Hoskins (pictured), Minister of Health and Long-Term 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.
The action plan focuses on four 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 healthcare system
Protect: Protecting our universal public healthcare 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 the 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.