Breaking Down Barriers to Better Patient CarePublished on February 26, 2019
Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long Term Care, has announced the Government of Ontario’s long-term plan to fix and strengthen the public health care system by focusing directly on the needs of Ontario’s patients and families.
“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 would 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 care 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.
“Our government is taking a comprehensive, pragmatic approach to addressing the public health care system,” said John Yakabuski, MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. “By relentlessly focusing on patient experience, and on better connected care, we will reduce wait times and end hallway health care. Citizens of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke can be confident that there will be a sustainable health care system for them when and where they need it.”
- 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.
- Backgrounder: Building a Connected Public Health Care System for the Patient
- Read the Premier’s Council report: Hallway Health Care: A System Under Strain
- Learn more about Ontario’s plan to build a connected public health care system at ontario.ca/connectedcare