Modernization of Ontario Public Health Care System

Ontario passes legislation that puts patients at the centre of an integrated health care system. The People’s Health Care Act will help end hallway health care while building a modern, sustainable and integrated health care system

Hallway medicine (treating patients in the hallway of a hospital when all the rooms are full) is a reality in Ontario. There is no easy solution – it is caused by many large challenges facing the health system.

Across Ontario, care is too fragmented, with patients, families and caregivers left to navigate their own way through the health care system with limited information. Patients experience frequent gaps in care and are asked to reiterate their health concerns over and over. Digital tools lag and care options have not kept pace with the growing technological sophistication of Ontarians. Care providers are discouraged from working together in teams in support of better patient outcomes.

With today’s passing of The People’s Health Care Act, all of that changes. Ontario’s Government for the People is building a public health care system that is focused on the needs of patients and ending hallway health care.

“Our government is modernizing Ontario’s public health care system to finally put the patient at the centre of care,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. “If we expect real improvements that patients will experience first-hand, we must build a health care system that is organized around people’s real-life needs. The People’s Health Care Act, now passed, does just that. It will empower teams of health care providers to know and understand each individual patient’s needs as they provide the high-quality and connected care Ontarians expect and deserve.”

The People’s Health Care Act takes a comprehensive approach to modernizing Ontario’s public health care system by focusing on improving the patient experience and on better connected care, which will help reduce wait times and end hallway health care. This landmark legislation is a key component of the government’s plan to build a modern, sustainable and integrated health care system. This plan includes:

  • Establishing Ontario Health Teams, a new model to integrate care and funding that will connect health care providers and services around patients and families in the community. These coordinated teams will be responsible for delivering care, understanding patients’ health care history, connecting patients to the different types of care they need and navigating the health care system.
  • Integrating multiple provincial agencies into a single agency – Ontario Health – to provide a central point of accountability and oversight for the health care system. This will improve clinical guidance and support for providers and enable better quality care for patients.
  • Improving access to secure digital tools, including online health records and virtual care options for patients – finally, a 21st-century approach to health care.

“Our government is building a health care system for the people,” said Elliott. “As we continue to implement our modernization plan, our government will continue to focus our health care investments where they will have the most impact – on frontline services that directly support patient care.”

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s patient-centred plan is also supported by additional investments in increased hospital operational funding, mental health and addiction services and building long-term care beds, as well as home care funding and community care funding, both of which will let Ontario’s seniors live at home longer.
  • The People’s Health Care Act has garnered widespread support from a diverse range of health care providers and partners, including Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, Ontario Long Term Care Association, Ontario Hospital Association and Home Care Ontario.
  • Ontarians will experience a seamless transition from one model to the next; as the province implements its plan to modernize the public health care system, Ontarians can continue to contact their health care providers as usual to access the health care they need.
  • The government has consulted with patients, families, nurses, doctors and others who provide direct patient care, including the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine and its working groups, the Minister’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, and health system and academic experts.

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, April 18, 2019


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