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Public Health Renewal: The Next Step

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Public Health Renewal: The Next Step

Public Health Strategic Plan Outlines Goals and Areas of Focus for the Sector

Ministry of Health

Today, Ontario's public health community released Make No Little Plans, the first-ever comprehensive strategic plan for the public health sector. The plan outlines the sector's five shared strategic goals and eight collective areas of focus for the next three to five years. The plan is a roadmap that will help Ontarians become the healthiest people in the world, calling for strong partnerships across all sectors to work towards: 

  • Giving children the best start in life 
  • Improving the prevention and control of infectious diseases through immunization
  • Getting more Ontarians to exercise more, eat better, not smoke and drink less alcohol
  • Influencing municipal planning and policy to  reinforce the strong link between community planning and health outcomes
  • Strengthening the public health sector's capacity, infrastructure and emergency preparedness

The plan acknowledges that good health is also determined by social and environmental factors beyond medical care, such as income, education, clean air and water. It outlines how public health, at the provincial and local levels, will co-operate on delivering on these shared goals and calls for public health to partner with other health and non-health sectors to address complex public health challenges.

Quick Facts

  • Many of Ontario’s health gains are the result of public health measures, such as immunization programs, safe water and food, seatbelt laws and other transportation safety measures and anti-smoking initiatives.
  • A recent study reports that 60 per cent of Ontario deaths in 2007 were attributable to five risk factors — smoking, unhealthy alcohol consumption, poor diet, physical inactivity and high stress — and people who have all five risk factors combined are losing almost 20 years of life, on average.
  • According to Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care, 25 per cent of health care costs are due to preventable illnesses.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“This is a bold plan for the public health sector – a first for Ontario. Because the public health sector is a bridge between the health sector and other sectors that influence the determinants of health, we are uniquely positioned to make a profound difference to the health and well-being of Ontarians. We are calling on our partners to work with us because it is by working together that we will have the greatest impact on health and well-being. Public health is everyone’s responsibility and everyone’s business.”

Dr. Arlene King

Chief Medical Officer of Health

“Over the past century, we have seen profound improvements in health and life expectancy because of public health measures – but we also know there is more potential for additional healthy years of life, and there are both old and new health challenges that we must face. The strategic plan is a logical step in our journey to improve population health and the public health system in Ontario.”

Dr. Charles Gardner

Medical Officer of Health, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

“This sector plan lays the foundations for us to not only continue to build on our successes, but to further strengthen health promotion and chronic disease prevention, environmental and occupational health, and public health emergency preparedness. The plan provides us with a roadmap for how we can all work together to ensure that Ontarians are the healthiest people in the world.”

Dr. Vivek Goel

President and Chief Executive Officer, Public Health Ontario

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