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Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care

Year-Two Results | April 2017

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Message from the Minister

Our health care system belongs to everyone in Ontario. In February 2015, we launched our Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care to transform our health care system into one that puts patients at the centre. We are working with our partners in health care to make the system more accessible, equitable and integrated.

During the last two years, we’ve made great strides to improve the health care experience while delivering high quality care for patients, their families and caregivers.

For example:

As we move forward, we remain committed to focusing on the needs of patients and improving their health care experience by working with our health care partners across the system to ensure that patients have access to the services they need, where and when they need them.


[original signed by]

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister


Investing $12 billion over 10 years in hospital infrastructure, with about 35 major hospital projects under construction or being planned.

Providing an additional $485 million in new funding in 2016/17 to support new and redeveloped hospitals enhance and maintain access to targeted priority services such as organ and tissue transplants, improve access and wait times for additional procedures such as cataract surgeries, knee and hip replacements, as well as to support small, northern and rural hospitals, specialty mental health hospitals and to ensure the continued provision of services particularly in hospitals experiencing high growth to provide better patient access to high-quality health care services.

Expanding access to quality cancer care services for patients by investing an additional $130 million over the next three years; for example, a new cancer centre in Waterloo region, funding to support a new PET-CT scanner in Sudbury and new funding for stem cell research.

Expanding free dental care through Healthy Smiles Ontario; making it easier for more than 323,000 eligible children and youth from low-income families to get free dental care.

Continuing to improve affordability and access for assisted reproductive services — including funding in vitro fertilization (IVF)— through the Ontario Fertility Program, which has helped more than 6,500 patients since the program’s launch in December 2015.

Reducing the financial burden on patients and their loved ones by capping hospital parking fees and offering discounted parking passes.
13 vaccines
Pharmacists can now administer vaccines for an additional 13 preventable diseases - including common travel vaccines - making it easier and more convenient for people in Ontario to protect themselves at home and abroad.


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Passed the Patients First Act, 2016 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.

Ensuring Indigenous people have access to more culturally appropriate care and improved health outcomes through Ontario’s First Nations Health Action Plan, which is supporting more doctors and other health professionals in northern/remote Indigenous communities and improving access to diabetes and home and community care services. Through this plan, Ontario is investing nearly $222 million in new funding over three years, plus an additional $104.5 million annually of sustained funding thereafter.

Providing faster access to mental health and addictions services by investing in:

Improving the quality of life for long-term care home residents by strengthening Ontario’s quality and safety inspection program by implementing enforcement tools – including financial penalties – to ensure all long-term care home operators address concerns promptly.

75 million
Helping patients who are at the end of their lives by investing $75 m for up to 200 new hospice beds in 54 more communities across Ontario, while providing continued funding for existing hospice beds.
3000 patients
Home and community-based palliative and end-of-life care for 3,000 more patients across Ontario.
LTC beds
Redeveloping more than 30,000 long-term care beds in 300 long-term care homes by 2025.
54 million
Investing $54 m to provide behavioural supports for older adults living with dementia or cognitive impairments.


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Moving forward with Immunization 2020, Ontario’s five-year strategy to improve its publicly funded immunization program, by offering:

Continuing to support children’s health and well-being through the Healthy Kids Community Challenge with programs in 45 communities that encourage healthy eating and physical activity.

Helping people quit smoking through a $5 million investment from tobacco tax revenues for:

Increased breastfeeding supports, including a 24/7 breastfeeding telephone service, and local programs for mothers.
food menu
Requiring regulated food service premises with 20 or more locations in Ontario to display calories on menus for standard food items - helping consumers make better-informed choices when choosing what to eat and feed their families.


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Opening the Patient Ombudsman Office to help patients, former patients and caregivers who have an unresolved complaint about their or their loved one’s care at a hospital, long-term care home or in their homes.

Introducing legislation that would strengthen measures to prevent and respond to the sexual abuse of patients by any regulated health professional.

Passed the Health Information Protection Act to help better protect the personal health information of patients and ensure that Ontario maintains its position as a leader in health information privacy protection.

Passed a new Quality of Care Information Protection Act to help ensure transparency for patients and their families during the investigation of critical incidents.

Implementing a comprehensive opioid strategy to prevent opioid addiction and overdose, including the appointment of Ontario’s first-ever Provincial Overdose Co-ordinator and expanding access to naloxone overdose medication free of charge for eligible Ontarians.

pain clinic
Investing in
chronic pain clinics ensuring that patients receive timely and appropriate care.
Savings on prescription drugs for approximately
more seniors annually through the Ontario Drug Benefit Program - saving each of them approximately
per year.


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Vision for the Future

Minister Hoskins with a patient and caregiver

"As we reflect on the accomplishments we have achieved in year two of our Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, and continue to improve the health care system, we will ensure that patients and their families have a strong voice and role to play in health care planning and services."

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Patients First in Action

As we transform Ontario’s health care system, initiatives are underway across the province demonstrating how we are putting patients first, such as:

Members of Thunder Bay’s Regional Health Sciences Centre Patient and Family Advisory Council are sharing their input and ideas to shape the care and services that people receive.

In Mississauga Halton LHIN, patients are receiving advice and services from a local care coordinator, who is helping them connect with the care they need. For example, a patient leaving the hospital can be connected with home care services, including personal support, nursing and rehabilitation as appropriate.

Working with the eHealth Centre of Excellence, patients in Waterloo can now use an online e-referral system to reduce wait times by connecting them to specialists and other health care services in their community.

The ministry has committed to the restoration of the mental health unit at Lakeridge Health Ajax and Pickering, which includes at least 20 new mental health inpatient beds.

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