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Make No Little Plans: Ontario's Public Health Sector Strategic Plan

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Make No Little Plans: Ontario's Public Health Sector Strategic Plan

Ministry of Health

Make No Little Plans marks the first ever comprehensive strategic plan for Ontario's public health sector. A collaborative effort of the sector's leadership council, headed by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, it charts a clear roadmap with strategic goals and collective areas of focus. The plan was developed with broad consultation among key stakeholders both within and outside the health sector.   

Five strategic goals 
The plan centres around five strategic goals, with eight collective areas of focus, for the public health sector to tackle over the next three to five years. 

  1. Optimize healthy human development by identifying and implementing evidence-based strategies that support child development and wellness, and building on current government initiatives that promote healthy starts for children.
  2. Improve the prevention and control of infectious diseases through redoubling efforts to boost immunization -- one of the most cost-effective methods of disease prevention. The next steps will be guided by the results of an expert review on immunization currently underway.
  3. Improve health by reducing preventable diseases and injuries. Public health will  continue to provide leadership in efforts to reduce overweight and obesity, tobacco and alcohol use. To achieve the goals set out in Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care and the report of the Healthy Kids Panel, the public health sector will have to build strategic working relationships with others in the health sector and partners in the non-health sector, including health care providers, schools, retailers, media, government and the food industry.
  4. Promote healthy environments -- both natural and built -- by encouraging the growth and viability of active transportation options in communities. Because of their relationship to municipalities, local public health units are particularly well-positioned to reinforce the connection between community planning and health outcomes in municipal planning and policy. At the provincial level, public health authorities are contributing to growth-planning and cycling strategies.
  5. Strengthen the public health sector's capacity, infrastructure and emergency preparedness. Effective mobilization around infectious disease outbreaks depends on quick and efficient information-sharing, mechanisms that promote co-operation between and within sectors, and a skilled workforce equipped to respond. The public health sector has made significant progress in sector-wide co-ordination, and the next steps will involve investing in information technology and developing capacity for collaboration.
Working together: Public Health is Everyone's Business

The new strategic plan sets out a collaborative approach, calling on partners from other health sectors as well as non-health sectors, to work together on a shared vision to make Ontario the healthiest place to grow up and grow old.   

Many factors that contribute to health -- income, education, work, area of residence, diet, environment and opportunities for physical activity -- go beyond the health sector. Public health is seeking to strengthen partnerships across sectors to influence legislation, policies and programs that affect these determinants of health.   

Ontario's Public Health Sector

Ontario's public health sector is comprised of four key pillars:
  1. At the provincial level, the government develops legislation, policies and standards, and provides overall direction to the public health sector.
  2. The Chief Medical Officer of Health leads the public health sector both within and outside the government.
  3. Public Health Ontario provides expert scientific and technical advice to government, public health units, health care providers and others involved in public health
  4. At the municipal level, a network of 36 local public health agencies across Ontario delivers public health programs and services.
The public health sector has the expertise and capacity to help Ontarians lead long lives and reduce the need for health care services. More effective use of public health expertise and better collaboration with others in the health sector as well as non-health sectors could lead to better health at lower costs.  

Through public health policies, programs and partnerships, the public health sector can help Ontarians stay healthy and prevent disease.

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