Patients Canada response to Ontario health care reform
Toronto, June 3, 2016 – Patients Canada is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization dedicated to reflecting and amplifying the voice of patients concerning priorities that matter to them.
Patients Canada applauds Minister Hoskins' vision of a more seamless health care system that is more responsive to patients.
"Patients Canada will take a wait and see approach regarding the claims being made about benefits to patients as a result of the proposed legislation", says Michael Decter, Board Chair of Patients Canada. "While we applaud the intentions behind this transformation and its ambitious goals, we are unable to see how a major restructuring of boards and more bureaucratic management and oversight of health providers and health organizations will result in more responsive, effective, compassionate delivery of health care services to patients."
Patients Canada believes that the health care system needs a huge change in culture whereby the patient is actually the focus not just of what is done but how it is done around patient, not just system priorities.
For example, having a prescription faxed to a pharmacy that is closed is not helpful, nor is having hospital appointments being sent by mail. It is not convenient for patients to have to communicate with the health system by phones that they cannot get through on or fax machines they do not have, when email is available. The manner in which test results are handled leads to tremendous anxiety for patients and this needs to be addressed. In short, delivery level processes must be redesigned around patients' preferences and convenience and not that of providers or bureaucracies.
Patients Canada believes that it is essential that providers and health organizations can remain focused on patient care. We hope that restructuring of this magnitude does not take focus away from that care as providers and bureaucracies conquer new learning curves to carry out functions they never did before.
We are disappointed that CCAC nurses will be transferred from the CCAC to LHINs. Patients Canada believes that patient care should be delivered by providers who are working within health care organizations not bureaucracies.
The Minister has acknowledged that these changes will take years to implement. Patients Canada welcomes the engagement of patients at more decision making levels as the system is reformed and looks forward to working with Minister Hoskins to fully implement these provisions. It is extremely important to patients that Minister Hoskins succeeds in these very worthy goals.