Ontario Reports Results on More Investments and Better Access to Health Care
Government Reports First Year Progress on Patients First Action Plan
In its Patients First: Action Plan Progress Report released today, the province outlined the investments in health care that are giving patients better and faster access to high-quality health care services today while building a sustainable system that will be there for patients in the future. Since introducing the Action Plan for Health Care in February 2015, results have included:
- Making hospital parking more affordable by freezing rates for three years and requiring hospitals that charge more than $10 a day to provide discounted parking passes.
- Supporting more than 5,000 Ontarians per year who are trying to start or expand a family, by funding in vitro fertilization procedures.
- Increasing the government's investment in home and community care by five per cent annually - an increase of $750 million over three years.
- Providing funding for up to 75 new attending nurse practitioners in long-term care homes over three years. Nurse practitioners work as part of a care team to strengthen services for patients.
- Released Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care, the government's plan to transform the home and community care sector to enable more patients to receive high-quality care at home and in the community.
Informing people and patients:
- Banning the sale of flavoured tobacco products, raising the maximum fines for those who sell tobacco to youth and banning the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 19.
- Launching the Healthy Kids Community Challenge across the province to encourage kids to be healthy and active.
Protecting patients and the health care system:
- Selecting Ontario's first-ever Patient Ombudsman after an online consultation in which nearly 1,000 Ontarians identified the skills, experience and personality traits that the Patient Ombudsman should have. Christine Elliott was announced in this role December 2015.
- Funding a nasal spray flu vaccine to better protect children and youth against the flu.
- Introducing the Health Information Protection Act, to protect the personal health information of patients by strengthening reporting requirements for privacy breaches and doubling fines for offences.
- Today, 94 per cent of Ontarians report having a regular primary health care provider.
- Compared to 2003, over 26,300 more nurses and 6,600 more physicians are providing patient care.
- Free flu shots are available at over 2,500 pharmacies across Ontario for anyone five years of age and older.
- As part of the 2016 Budget, Ontario is proposing a new investment of more than $345 million to all publicly funded hospitals, including a one per cent increase to base funding, to provide better patient access to high-quality health care services.
“Ontario is committed to a health care system that truly puts patients first. This year’s progress report demonstrates that we are continuing to make investments in and are improving the performance of our health care system. That means faster access for patients today and a system that will be there for patients and caregivers when they need it in the future.”