Monday, February 28, 2011

A Strong Health Care Systems Helps Build Stong Communities: Ontario's Doctors

Photo Credit: University of Ottawa Heart Institute

TORONTO, February 28, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ontario's doctors are urging municipal leaders attending the combined Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) and Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) convention in Toronto to speak with Cabinet Ministers and MPP's from all parties to remind them about the importance of a strong and high functioning health-care system in their communities.

Ontario's doctors are again proud sponsors of this year's ROMA/OGRA convention that brings municipal leaders together to discuss issues such as economic development, roads, bridges and infrastructure. However, it is imperative they do not forget about health care. Ontario's doctors reminded delegates that recent polling conducted on behalf of the OMA reveals that 9 in 10 Ontarians believe that health care is the most important issue.

Mark MacLeod, MD, President of the Ontario Medical Association:

"Health care isn't just a cost, it's an investment. If people are healthy and well they are more productive members of society. More importantly, if you have a strong health-care system, employers from around the world will be attracted to invest in Ontario. A strong health care system is the foundation for a strong and vibrant economy."

"Ontario's doctors will continue to be leading advocates when it comes to helping shape the future of our health care system. We are calling on municipal leaders and each of the political parties to commit to making health care a priority in the next election."

Earlier this year, Ontario's doctors released their policy platform in advance of the next provincial election, 'Better Care. Healthier patients. A stronger Ontario.' Every delegate at the convention was provided with a copy of the platform at registration and they are encouraged to share it with their communities. The platform contains 41 recommendations designed to improve patient care and strengthen Ontario's healthcare system. Some specific policy recommendations include:

...Fighting childhood obesity by requiring fast food chains to list calorie contents on menu boards, and by mandating physical activity in our high schools.

...Stopping kids from getting easy access to cheap, illegal cigarettes, by implementing a comprehensive contraband control strategy.

...Ensuring every person in Ontario has an electronic medical record by 2015 and expanding EMRs to 5,000 more physicians;

...Expanding the number of Family Health Teams;

...Implementing a mental health strategy with a focus on our young people whose parents continue to find significant gaps in resources and care options; and

...Reducing the number of ALC patients by increasing long-term care capacity and home support services.

Quick Facts:

...Since 2004, Ontario's doctors have helped over 1.2 million patients find a physician;

...Over 5,000 doctors now manage patients' health information electronically, and more than 5 million Ontarians are covered by an electronic medical record; and

...Today, health care sector spending accounts for 46 cents of every program dollar and could consume nearly 70 cents in 12 years if left unchecked.

"Better care. Healthier patients. A stronger Ontario." can be found at

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