On December 7, 2016 Ontario passed legislation that will help patients and their families obtain better access to a more local and integrated health care system, improving the patient experience and delivering higher-quality care. The Patients First Act will help ensure patients are at the centre of the health care system.
On October 6, 2016, Ontario re-introduced the Patients First Act in order to make changes that will enable the next stage of the Patients First Action Plan for Health Care, including quicker access to a doctor and improvements to home and community care.
Ontario released its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care in February of 2015 to help build a health care system that was patient-centered. Patients First builds on that commitment and sets the framework for the next phase of health care system transformation. This plan is designed to deliver on one clear health promise – to put people and patients/clients first by improving their health care experience and their health outcomes.
On December 17, 2015, Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, announced the next stage of the Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, the“Proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Health Care in Ontario.” The discussion paper outlined new approaches to primary health care, public health and Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) that would require changes to legislation.
As part of the consultation process, the Ministry heard from thousands of people including patients, caregivers, Indigenous peoples, health care partners, staff, clinicians, municipal and other community and government partners.
The LHINs engaged locally with patients, caregivers, care providers and community partners to gain feedback on the ideas presented in the Discussion Paper about how to make the health care system more integrated, accessible and better for patients. In the North West LHIN, during January and February 2016, a total of 14 in person sessions were hosted in relation to the Discussion Paper.
On June 2, 2016, Ontario introduced Bill 210, Patients First Act, 2016 in order to make changes that will enable the next stage of the Patients First Action Plan for Health Care, including quicker access to a doctor and improvements to home and community care.
To achieve these structural changes, a number of legislative changes are required and proposed in Bill 210 and they are aligned with four main categories:
- Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Governance and Mandate
- Primary Care
- Home and Community Care
- Public Health
Further information can be accessed through the materials referenced below: