Faster Care For Ontario's Kids
McGuinty Government Tracking Paediatric Wait Times, Getting Better Results For Ontario Families
Premier Dalton McGuinty announced that the government is speeding up access to health care for children so they can get the surgeries they need more quickly.
"The toughest thing to face, for any family, is when a child is sick," said Premier McGuinty. "By investing in more surgeries for kids, more parents will rest easier knowing their children are safe from harm and more kids will grow up to lead healthy, active lives."
Premier McGuinty made his remarks at the Hospital for Sick Children, where he joined health professionals and community members.
The government is investing $5.5 million to further help improve access to care for kids by providing over 2,000 additional paediatric surgeries across Ontario in 2007/08. For the first time in Ontario, paediatric wait times will also be monitored, tracked and made available on www.ontariowaittimes.com.
Today's announcement will help provide:
- 130 additional general surgeries
- 520 additional eye-related surgeries
- 656 additional dental/oral surgeries
- 100 additional bone and joint surgeries
- 753 additional ear, nose and throat surgeries
- 72 additional plastic surgeries
- 88 additional urology surgeries.
In addition, the government is investing in several projects to develop innovative solutions that will improve care for Ontario's children. Details on these initiatives will be released in the coming weeks.
"For the first time ever, we're providing Ontarians with information on wait times for paediatric surgeries," said Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman. "Building on our success in reducing wait times for adults in five key areas, we are addressing the problem of wait times for children by maximizing surgical capacity and reporting paediatric wait times data."
Dr. Charlotte Moore has been appointed as Lead of Access to Paediatric Services. In her new role, she will steer Ontario's new Paediatric Wait Time Strategy, including overseeing initiatives designed to improve access to high-quality health care for all children in Ontario.
"The addition of paediatric surgery to Ontario's Wait Time Strategy represents an important step forward in the critical work necessary to reduce the amount of time Ontario's youngest patients wait for access to much needed care," said Dr. Moore. "I am honoured to be leading Ontario's new Paediatric Wait Time Strategy, and I am looking forward to working for the benefit of all children in our province."
Tracking paediatric wait times is just one more example of how, working together, Ontarians are achieving results for children's health care. Other initiatives include:
- Funding insulin pumps and related supplies for about 6,500 children living with Type 1 diabetes
- Continuing to deliver three new vaccines, free of charge, to protect against chicken pox, meningococcal and pneumococcal disease
- Expanding the number of rare disorders newborns are screened for in Ontario from two to 28.
At today's announcement, Premier McGuinty also pointed to the turnaround in health care in Ontario.
"Three-and-a-half years ago, hospitals were closing, nurses were being fired and no one was measuring wait times for important procedures," said Premier McGuinty. "Now, we're hiring 8,000 nurses and half a million more Ontarians have a family doctor."
"These results are only possible because Ontario's health professionals are working and dreaming and building, every day," said Premier McGuinty. "And when we look at how far we've come together, we're inspired to keep moving forward together. We realize that we really can make things better."