Building a Connected Public Health Care System

Op-Ed

by Jim McDonell, MPP                                                                                                                 

When I talk to people in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry (SDSG), I often hear about loved ones spending hours and even sometimes days in a hospital hallway, waiting for a bed to become available. Or I hear about parents struggling to navigate through a fractured mental health system for their children.

Every day more than 1,000 people are being treated in unconventional spaces in hospitals, and the average wait time to access a bed in a long-term care home is 146 days. Patients, families and caregivers who are familiar with our system know far too well that Ontario can do better to improve the public health care experience.

The people of Ontario need a connected and sustainable public health care system that will ensure they get the high-quality care they need and deserve in the years ahead.

That’s why our government is making the necessary changes to build a modern, sustainable and connected public health care system that is finally organized around people’s needs and outcomes.

Ontario’s new plan for health care will better organize our hard working health care providers, including doctors and nurses, to work as one connected and coordinated team focused on patients specific local needs. If patients have to move between health care providers or receive care in different places, these teams would make sure they have a smooth and simple transition.

Our government’s plan will establish teams of health care service providers responsible for understanding your health care history and individual situation, and directly connect you to the different types care you need, including home care, rehabilitation care, long-term care and mental health and addictions support. There will be someone to help you, your family and caregiver to navigate the public health care system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With safeguards in place to protect information, you will also have the option to securely use digital health services including online access to health records and virtual care options.

As we work to rebuild the health care system, you can be confident that you can continue to contact your health care providers as usual to access the health care services you need.

Our government heard from patients, families and frontline health care workers to develop this plan, including from people of SDSG. The people will always be our government’s priority as we create a public health care system that works for all Ontarians.

Our government is taking a comprehensive, pragmatic approach to addressing the public health care system. By relentlessly focusing on patient experience, and on better connected care, we will reduce wait times and end hallway health care. You can be confident that there will be a sustainable public health care system for you when and where you need it.

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