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Improving Access to Routine Health Procedures

Archived News Release

Improving Access to Routine Health Procedures

Ontario Establishing Non-Profit Community-Based Specialty Clinics

Ministry of Health

Ontario is increasing access to routine health procedures by establishing non-profit community-based specialty clinics in communities across the province.  

These specialty clinics will provide OHIP- insured services, starting with cataract and colonoscopy procedures. Other procedures will be considered for this new model of care, including dialysis, out-patient orthopaedic and other specialized services that do not require overnight stays in a hospital.

The new clinics will: 

  • Focus on better patient outcomes, including a better patient experience.
  • Adhere to high quality standards of care to ensure patient and staff safety.
  • Provide OHIP-insured services with no additional fees charged for these services.
  • Work with local LHINs and hospitals to ensure continuity and stability of services for patients in the community.  
  • Provide better value for Ontario taxpayers by allowing hospitals to focus on more complex procedures.

Health care providers can apply to provide services under the new model starting in early 2014. A new policy guide outlining eligibility criteria and standards for the new clinics is now available at www.ontario.ca/specialtyclinics.

Improving access to low-risk procedures in community specialty clinics  provides the right care, at the right time and in the right place and is part of Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care. This is part of the government's economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • Examples of existing non-profit specialty clinics operating in the province include Kensington Eye Institute, Ottawa Hospital’s Riverside Campus and the new Ottawa and Toronto Birth Centres.
  • Applications to open new non-profit community-based speciality clinics must be supported by a local hospital and the Local Health Integration Network.
  • British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan have already shifted some low-risk procedures into specialty clinics, including hip and knee surgery, diagnostic imaging, urology and maternity services.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“If a routine, low-risk procedure can be done outside of a hospital, it’s good for patients, the health care system and taxpayers. We want to build on the success of existing specialty clinics like the Kensington Eye Institute to improve the patient experience while at the same time providing better value for Ontario taxpayers.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Media Contacts



Government Health and Wellness