Ontario releases Action Plan for Health Care

CARP members will welcome the patient-focused vision of healthcare announced today


February 2, 2015

Toronto, ON: CARP members will welcome the patient-focused vision of healthcare announced today, especially the commitment to funding the patient’s journey rather than provider’s activity and wrapping care around the patients, who CARP calls the HealthCare Citizen. 

Ontario Minister of Health, Dr. Eric Hoskins released today his Patient First: Action Plan for Health Care that aims to prioritize patients by increasing access and modernize delivery and funding of care.

Key among his proposals was to

  • improve access to primary care that is team-based, integrated and coordinated
  • increase the use of modern technology to provide better care
  • shift more mental health service into the community
  • expand home and community care capacity and modernize delivery
  • wrap care around the patient in which the care across all the different providers are provided together
  • bundle funding around the patient’s care journey, instead of the current fee-for-service model

Much has been made of seniors being stuck in hospital beds when they should be convalescing in a nursing home or at home. There has even been a price tag set – $1000 a day in hospital, $150 a day in a nursing home and $55 a day for care at home. The problem has been that not enough funding has been allocated to these alternatives and the resources to help people transition to them. Seniors don’t want to be in those hospital beds any more than the hospital and doctors do; but there have to be alternatives. One way is to have that public funding follow the patient.

Post-acute home care was identified as an essential medical service that should be protected and funded under the Canada Health Act in the 2004 Health Accord. While part of the $41 Billion allocated pursuant to the Accord improved access to home care, it is by no means generally available when needed. That 15% of hospital beds today are occupied by people who should have access to post acute home care or nursing home care is evidence of this failure.

“This is good news. If bundled funding means complete funding of the patient journey, then it’s a fundamental ‎reform of healthcare funding, it can also mean that seniors stuck in hospital beds can get care out in the community. Healthcare is a priority for all Canadians and resonates particularly with older Canadians. CARP members are saying that the system is failing them badly and call for disruptive change to remove the silos that make the system difficult to navigate, to wrest control over priorities and budgets away from the service providers and re-focus on those they are meant to serve. They don’t want to be treated as just “patients” or “consumers” but as “citizens” entitled to the values set out in the Canada Health Act.” – Susan Eng, VP Advocacy for CARP.

The vision proposed by Dr. Hoskins is consistent with CARP’s call for a fundamental overhaul of the healthcare system to better serve Canadians by placing them at the centre of the system, not outside its silos.CARP is calling for a full system re-design of the healthcare system to provide a comprehensive 360 degrees of care that treats Canadians as “healthcare citizens” – with the right to expect timely and appropriate care and equal treatment regardless of age, income and postal code.

CARP’s submission to the Advisory Panel on Health Innovation calls on the government to prioritize the needs of the healthcare citizen rather than the needs of the service provider.

Currently, the system is designed around the priorities of the service providers rather than the people it is supposed to serve, creating a fragmented and inefficient agglomeration of silos within silos. While many will welcome the mandate of the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation to seek improvements in the quality and accessibility of care, Canadians do not want more pilot projects that add more elements, complexity and costs to the current $215 billion healthcare spending with limited sustained impact. As taxpaying healthcare citizens, Canadians want a system that wraps fully around their needs, enabling them to maintain their health and well-being.

A comprehensive health and wellness system would comprise and provide for:

  • social determinants of health,
  • prevention of illness,
  • medical treatment and care,
  • caregiver support, and
  • end of life care.

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada, social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and services to our members. Through our network of chapters across Canada, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.

For further information, please contact:

Sarah Park   416.607.2471
Director, Communications
[email protected]

Michael Nicin   416.607.2479
Director of Policy
[email protected]

Anna Sotnykova  416.607.2475
Media & Communications Coordinator
[email protected]


CARP, A New Vision of Aging for Canada

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