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Ontarians Have More Health Care Options Than Ever Before

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Ontarians Have More Health Care Options Than Ever Before

McGuinty Government Empowers Ontarians To Make Better Health Care Choices

Ministry of Health

With the simple click of a mouse or the touch of a smart phone, Ontarians can access the newly re-launched health care options web site and get to know the health care options in their communities better.

In a matter of seconds, Ontarians can locate and contact the health care option that's closest to home -- whether it's a family health team, urgent care centre or walk-in clinic. They can also learn about the different services these health care options offer as well as when and how to access them. They can share all this information with friends and families through social networking tools, like Facebook and Twitter.

The redeveloped website also includes other user-friendly tools that will make it easier for Ontarians to get the health care they need:

  • An online registry for Health Care Connect, a referral service that has already matched more than 42,000 Ontarians with doctors who are accepting patients
  • A searchable tool that helps Ontarians find the wait time for surgeries offered at their local hospital and discuss with their doctor whether other nearby hospitals can perform the procedure more quickly
  • A series of interactive videos to introduce Ontarians to some newer health care options -- things like nurse practitioner-led clinics and family health teams
  • A searchable tool that provides Ontarians with wait time information in their local hospital's emergency room
  • A section called 'Understanding Health Care in Ontario' to help newcomers to Ontario learn how to navigate the province's health care system.

Knowing their options will allow Ontarians to choose the best health care service for their needs, reducing pressure on emergency rooms. Approximately 40 per cent of all visits to the emergency room are related to less urgent or non-urgent conditions that may be treated elsewhere.

Connecting Ontarians to the right health care is part of the government's Open Ontario Plan to provide more access to health care services while improving quality and accountability for patients.

Quick Facts

  • One million more Ontarians have been attached to a family doctor than in 2003.
  • Ontario has created 200 family health teams and 25 nurse practitioner-led clinics which will eventually care for more than 3 million Ontarians.
  • Ontario.ca/HealthCareOptions was originally launched in February 2009. The web site has received more than 1.5 million visits to date.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“We're giving Ontarians the tools they need to find health care close to home and learn about all the options available to them. We want to make navigating the health care system as simple as possible and empower Ontarians to get to know their health care system better.”

Deb Matthews

Health and Long-Term Care Minister

Media Contacts



Government Health and Wellness