The problems patients face in accessing health care today are not because of lack of money or shortfalls of our medical professionals. Rather, the problems stem from the way our health care system is organized.
In fact, Ontario’s health care system isn’t a system at all. It’s a complicated series of loosely-connected sectors with bureaucracies running other bureaucracies, with nobody knowing how to make it work in a coordinated way for the benefit of patients. For patients it is complex, inefficient and difficult to navigate.
Ontario needs innovation and action. The combination of tweaks and wishful thinking proposed by the current Liberal government for this broken system won’t cut it.
On Sep. 10th, the Ontario PCs released its Paths to Prosperity: Patient-Centred Health Care – the third in a series of discussion papers aimed at providing positive, fresh ideas for fixing the root causes of problems facing our province.
Proposals in Patient-Centred Health Care focus on three objectives: keeping Ontarians healthy, continually enhancing the patient experience and reducing the per capita cost of health care.
We’re proposing to eliminate two layers of costly middle management and waste in today’s health care system – the so-called Local Health Integration Networks and Community Care Access Centres. This reform alone would remove 2,000 middle managers and use this money more efficiently on frontline patient care like nursing, personal support workers and doctors.
To streamline the system, we’re proposing to build off of existing, high-performing regional hospitals. Instead of bureaucrats making decisions, local volunteer skills-based boards would form “health hubs” – directly linked to doctors, regional hospitals and other health providers. Frontline health professionals would be responsible for regional planning, procurement and performance, not government middle managers far removed from patients.
For the first time, you would have everyone responsible around the same table, not in siloed management or budgets. Other ideas include a stronger, more hands-on role for doctors, patient-centred funding for hospitals and hubs, and integration of acute care with primary care, home & community care, and long term care into a seamless partnership.
We can’t grow our economy or balance the books without reforming the delivery of health care – the largest provincial program expenditure.
Our plan will work for patients because it will be patient-led and it will put the patient at the centre of every decision. Please click here to read more about our plan.
Bill Walker, MPP
Ontario PC Deputy Health Critic