This document was published under a previous government.

Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care

Year One Results | March 2016


Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care renewed Ontario's commitment to transform the health care system into one that puts the needs of patients at its centre by focusing on four key objectives: increasing access, connecting services, informing patients and protecting the health care system.

Since launching Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care in February 2015, the province has made progress in all four areas, including beginning to implement the Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care, expanding access to fertility services, Immunization 2020 reducing hospital parking fees, and consulting on and appointing the first-ever Patient Ombudsman.

By focussing on patients first, Ontario continues to make the health care system more accessible, equitable and integrated.



Expanded the number of community Health Links from 69 to 82 across the province, providing better coordinated care for patients with multiple, complex conditions.

Increased access to fertility services at 52 clinics across the province. Ontario will now fund one in-vitro fertilization cycle per eligible patient.

Additional $83 million invested in mental health and addictions services, supporting more than 200 community initiatives.

In 2015-16, close to $1.4 billion was invested to expand, renew and modernize hospitals with approximately 40 major hospital projects under construction or in various stages of planning.

Making hospital parking more affordable by requiring hospitals that are charging more than $10 a day to provide 5-, 10- and 30-day parking passes at 50% the daily rate starting October 1, 2016. Hospitals charging less than $10/day will also freeze their parking rates for three years.

Helping an additional 5,000 people grow their families by expanding access to fertility services.
Wait times
Invested more than $1.9 billion since 2003-04 to help reduce wait times for surgical procedures and diagnostic imaging, reducing wait times for key services areas by 282 million days as of November 2015.
Thirty new nurse practitioners providing care in long-term care homes



Expanding home and community care in Ontario by implementing Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care – a 10-step plan to improve and expand home and community care over the next three years.

Consulting with stakeholders and the public on primary care and home care changes to improve the connections and communications between health care providers, hospitals, and home and community care.

Six teams in Ontario are now implementing bundled care to help patients transition more smoothly from hospital to home, enabling care providers to work as a team to ensure a better patient experience.

Supporting 30 community paramedicine programs, in order to assess, refer and educate patients through at-home visits.

750 million
Increasing investment in home and community care by $750 million over the next three years.
27 percent
A 27% increase in patients served through the Ontario Telemedicine Network.
hourly wages
Increasing the hourly wages of personal support workers and setting a new minimum base wage of $16.50 per hour for the home and community care sector on April 1, 2016.
80,000 hours
80,000 additional nursing hours for patients with complex needs.



Launched the Healthy Kids Community Challenge which takes a community-wide approach to healthy eating, physical activity and healthy behaviors for children.

Passed The Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015 requiring food service premises with 20 or more locations in Ontario to post calorie information on food and beverage items as of January 1, 2017. This will help Ontarians make more informed decisions about healthier food choices.

Released Immunization 2020, Ontario's five year strategy to strengthen the immunization system to better protect all Ontarians from vaccine preventable diseases, including a public education campaign and strengthening the rules for those who choose not to vaccinate.

Helping to reduce smoking rates by making it harder for youth to obtain tobacco products, banning the sale of flavoured tobacco and banning the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 19.

45 communities
Launched the Healthy Kids Community Challenge in 45 communities, including six aboriginal communities
e-cigarette ban
Banned the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 19
online tool
More than half a million visits to MyCancerIQ – an online cancer risk assessment tool – within 9 months of launching



Making prescription refills more convenient for people with chronic conditions and making changes to ensure Ontarians get good value when it comes to drug costs now and in the future.

Selected Ontario's first-ever Patient Ombudsman following a recruitment process that included input from nearly 1,000 individuals from across Ontario.

Introduced the Health Information Protection Act to ensure the protection of patients' personal health information and increase transparency in Ontario's health care system.

Recruited a Chief Health Innovation Strategist to make sure Ontario is taking the most innovative approach to delivering health care and championing the province as a leading centre for new health technology.

20 million
Established a new $20 million Health Technology Innovation Evaluation Fund to support made-in-Ontario technologies that improve patient care.
Nearly 1,000 Ontarians provided feedback on what qualifications were most important in a Patient Ombudsman
Continuing to engage the public on important health care issues, such as physician assisted dying, where over 12,500 people completed an online survey sharing their feedback on the issue.

Helping People:

"I have been unable to try IVF because the cost was too prohibitive for me. You may have just changed my life today. Thank you for making this a possibility".

- Loreen B., Toronto

"Change to health care must be informed by input from patients and caregivers who have experienced home and community care first hand. I appreciate having the opportunity to share what worked well and opportunities for improvement."

- Jan M., Thunder Bay

"This [Chatham-Kent Healthy Kids Community Challenge Launch] was a really great event. As a parent, you're always looking for ways to get your children out into the community and be active, and so it's a great investment."

- Ben S., Chatham-Kent

"OPACC (Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer) is thrilled that our concerns around the high cost of hospital parking have been addressed to help defray the cost of hospital parking for families of children with cancer in Ontario."

- Susan Kuczynski, OPACC Parent Liaison, Toronto


In the months and years ahead, we will continue to make progress on our Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care. By putting patients first in everything we do, we will provide faster access to the care patients need today and make the necessary investments to ensure our health system will be there for patients for generations to come.


Over the past 10 years, Ontario's health care system has made great progress in improving the patient experience.

  • TODAY, 94% of Ontarians report having a regular primary health care provider.
  • Compared to 2003, over 26,300 more nurses and 6,600 more physicians are providing patient care.
  • Flu shots are available in 2,500 pharmacies.

For More Information

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