Ontario's health depends on Better Care Faster

TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - Better Care Faster, a public awareness campaign launched today by a coalition of concerned health care professionals, patient and advocacy groups, health charities and research-based pharmaceutical companies, calls on all Ontarians to work together to develop solutions aimed at improving Ontario's health care system.

"The population of Ontario is rapidly growing, and the health care needs of our aging citizens are putting an increased demand on our system resources. While we have made significant progress to improve many aspects of our health care system, there remains much more to be done," said Dr. Stewart Kennedy, President of the Ontario Medical Association. "Now is the time to come together to develop collaborative solutions for the continued improvement of our health care system."

As Ontario's population continues to grow and age, Ontario's health care system faces enormous demands for care that will burden the system beyond its current capacity. Ontario's population will grow by almost 35 per cent by 2036,1 and in 10 years almost one in five Ontarians will be over 65, an increase of over 37 per cent since 2005.2 Furthermore, almost 80 per cent of Ontarians over 45 currently have a chronic condition3. The incidence of conditions such as cancer, diabetes, lung disease and dementia will continue to rise as the population ages, putting greater pressure on health care resources.

"As the incidence of chronic disease continues to rise, ensuring Ontarians have timely access to the right care at the right time becomes increasingly important," said Russell Williams, President of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D).  "One element of this campaign is working together to ensure that innovative medicines are made available to people of Ontario who need them most."

The Better Care Faster campaign is a starting point—a place to begin working together to find and implement solutions for our health care system to be ready for the needs of Ontario's growing and aging population in the future. These will include solutions that put innovation to work faster, prevent and manage chronic disease, ensure that patients have access to the medicines they need to manage their health and well-being, and ensure that Ontarians get released from hospital and into the right level of care in their communities sooner.

"Over the past several years we've seen many solutions implemented to address the health needs of Ontarians. However, new information and technology is ever evolving, and so must our efforts to improve the health care system," said George Habib, President and CEO, Ontario Lung Association. "This is why the dialogue sparked by Better Care Faster is so important- to raise pressing health care issues and provide a place to share ideas and information. We welcome all concerned individuals and organizations to join us in developing solutions."

The campaign is brought to the Ontario public by a partnership of concerned organizations including: Arthritis Society, Asthma Society of Canada, CARP, Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), Institute for Optimizing Health Outcomes, Ontario College of Family Physicians, Ontario Lung Association, Ontario Medical Association, Ontario Pharmacists' Association and Nurse Practitioners' Association of Ontario.

Join the conversation. Visit bettercarefaster.ca to share your concerns, have your voice heard and discuss solutions for the improvement of our health care system.

References:
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1  Ontario Ministry of Finance. Ontario Population Projections Update 2010-2036. Queen's Printer for Ontario. Spring 2011.

2  Heart and Stroke Foundation. A Perfect Storm: 2010 Heart and Stroke Foundation Annual Report on Canadians' Health. January 2010.

3 Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care website. http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/cdpm/index.html


SOURCE Rx

For further information:

Michelle Marchione Vicki Franklin
Hill & Knowlton Hill & Knowlton
416-413-4613 416-413-4699
michelle.marchione@hillandknowlton.ca  vicki.franklin@hillandknowlton.ca

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