McGuinty Government Holding Public Consultation On Future Of Health Care



    Government Wants To Hear From Ontarians On 10-Year Strategic Plan

    ORILLIA, ON, March 1 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government wants to hear from
local residents as it develops a 10-year strategic plan for the province's
health care system, Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman
announced today.
    "Listening to Ontarians is essential to the development of a long-term
plan for the province's health system because it is their system," said
Smitherman. "Our government has made significant progress in increasing access
to health care and bringing down wait times. We want to make sure our health
system will be there for Ontarians in the future because we're in this
together."

    A public regional consultation will be held on Thursday, March 1 at 4:30
p.m. at:

    The Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club
    Ballroom
    1151 Hurlwood Lane
    Orillia ON L3V 6K8

    Speakers will include Ruben Rosen, the Chair of the North Simcoe Muskoka
Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
    The consultations will allow local residents an opportunity to have their
say about the future of health care in Ontario, as well as front-line health
care providers and organized health care groups. Members of the public who
wish to attend or participate in the consultations can obtain more information
by calling 1-866-968-9582 or visiting www.register-ourplanforhealth.ca.
    The 2.5-hour session will highlight the government's progress in building
a stronger health care system in Ontario, health and social trends in the
province, future system challenges and opportunities, and an overview of what
the government and LHINs have already heard from the public.
    Participants at the session will then be engaged in a dialogue about the
important values and priorities that will shape Ontario's future health care
system.
    The regional consultation is just one of many ways that the government
has been obtaining feedback from Ontarians on their health care priorities and
concerns. Opinions have been collected through other meetings with health care
stakeholders, telephone surveys, e-mails to a dedicated website
(www.ourplanforhealth.ca) and through a toll-free phone line: 1-866-532-3161.
    The consultations will be part of the development of a strategic plan,
which is a commitment legislated under the Local Health System Integration
Act. The plan will set out a vision, priorities and strategic directions for
our health care system over the next 10 years.
    "Developing a plan is a huge challenge and responsibility," said
Smitherman. "And we can't do it without listening to the thoughts, concerns
and ideas from the people of Ontario."
    Today's initiative is part of the McGuinty government's plan for
innovation in public healthcare and building a system that delivers on three
priorities - keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing
better access to doctors and nurses.

    This news release, along with other media materials, such as matte
stories and audio clips, on other subjects, are available on our website at:
http://www.health.gov.on.ca under the News Media section.

    For more information on achievements in health care, visit:
www.resultsontario.gov.on.ca.

    Disponible en français.




For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: David Spencer, Minister's
Office, (416) 327-4320; A.G. Klei, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,
(416) 314-6197; Members of the general public: 1-866-532-3161

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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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