Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, has released a discussion paper titled Patients First: A Proposal to Strengthen Patient Centered Health Care in Ontario. The paper underscores the need for significant transformation to address a series of gaps in our health system.
The proposal includes improving access to primary care, standardizing and strengthening home and community care, stronger linkages with public health and ensuring that services are distributed more equitably across the province. It outlines a plan for the future direction of health care in Ontario that will see residents benefitting from an integrated, patient-centered system to ensure better health outcomes.
The paper outlines proposed structural and operational changes that will transform the way health services are delivered in our local communities. A common thread throughout the plan points to Ontario’s LHINs taking a larger role to provide further oversight and accountability for more health service providers and ensure greater focus on population health and the overall well-being of our communities.
What does the Ministry’s proposal mean for residents of Waterloo Wellington and local health service providers? It means that as we work with our partners to plan and fund local health services, we will be better positioned to further integrate services across the entire system. It means more coordinated care. It means better patient experiences. It means not having to tell your story more than once. Most importantly, it means better health and a better quality of life for you and your family.
Have Your Say!
The Ministry has provided us with a picture of the future for health care and now it’s your turn. The Discussion Paper includes a number of questions on how to successfully plan for and implement the proposed approach. They are looking for input from all of us – local residents, front line health service providers, community leaders – we all have the opportunity to provide advice on how to make the Ontario health system truly patient-centred.
I encourage you to provide input. Visit our website where you will find information, links to the Discussion Paper, and the online form to submit feedback. There we will also be posting information about local engagement events. Feedback is being received until the end of February.
On a personal note, a special thanks to everyone for all you do each and every day in our community. Whether you are a local resident, someone who works in health care, or someone who just chanced upon my blog, thank you for your interest in improving the health and well-being of local residents. To you and the people you care about, have a wonderful Family Day Weekend!