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Improving Access To Care For Ontario Families

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Improving Access To Care For Ontario Families

More Medical Procedures Will Mean Better Access To Better Health With A New $108-Million Investment

Office of the Premier

The Ontario government is investing in additional medical procedures and innovative health programs as it continues to improve access to health care for families across the province, announced Premier Dalton McGuinty.

"We're making real progress when it comes to ensuring Ontario families have faster access to health care in their communities," said Premier McGuinty. "There's more work to do -- and it's time to accelerate our progress by ensuring Ontario families get the care they need, when they need it."

Since 2004, the government has funded about 657,000 additional medical procedures. These investments have helped speed access to procedures in five key areas. As a result, people are getting the care they need more quickly in their communities. Patients are getting cataract surgery 61 days quicker than before, hip replacements 63 days sooner, knee replacements 52 days earlier and 28 days faster for MRI exams.

To build on the progress that's been made, Premier McGuinty announced today that the government is funding an additional 127,200 medical procedures to further improve access to care. The government will invest $50 million for these procedures.

To support patients and health care professionals, the government is also providing about $58 million for additional services and programs. This includes supporting more rehabilitation programs, improving Ontario's Wait Times Information System and helping local communities to further reduce wait times.

"Ontario is building an innovative system of health care delivery, where procedures are coordinated across the province to ensure patients get the timely care they need," said George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "We're developing unique new ways of tackling wait times, which will ensure that hospital resources are used as effectively as possible."

"We are confident that these extra cases, as well as other initiatives underway through the Wait Times Strategy will help hospitals and health care facilities delivering these services to better manage their wait lists and continue this overall general reduction of wait times," said Dr. Alan Hudson, lead of Ontario's Wait Times Strategy.

Speeding up access to key medical procedures is just one of the ways the McGuinty government is working on the side of families who want the best health care. Other initiatives include:

  • Creating 150 Family Health Teams to help improve access to doctors, nurses and other health care professionals for more than 2.5 million Ontarians
  • Increasing medical school enrolment by 23 per cent
  • Launching a $45-million HealthForceOntario strategy to attract more health care professionals to the province.

"Ontarians deserve the very best health care we can deliver in the communities where they live," said Premier McGuinty. "By continuing to strengthen the health of our people, we're building a stronger and more prosperous Ontario for years to come."

For more information on provincial wait times, visit www.ontariowaittimes.com.

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