TORONTO, Jan. 20, 2016 /CNW/ - In an effort to identify and help implement patient-first solutions to tackle the looming challenges posed by an aging population, Ontario's doctors today announced Check-Up Ontario, a doctor-led consultation tour across Ontario.
"Ensuring we are able to adequately respond to the challenges posed by an aging population with increasingly chronic and complex care needs is the single biggest issue facing Ontario's health-care system," said Dr. Mike Toth, president of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA). "The decisions we make today will impact all patients' ability to access quality care in the years to come."
As part of Check-Up Ontario, Ontario's doctors will:
- Launch an expert and public consultation tour in six cities across Ontario to identify key chronic care challenges, including those facing aging patients living with chronic conditions;
- Convene Ontario's leading health-care experts to determine new and innovative ideas on how to improve patient-focused care by tackling the challenges posed by an aging population; and
- Develop and release policies and recommendations to help begin solving the challenges posed by chronic conditions and an aging population.
The complex care needs of Ontarians with chronic conditions impact not only the patients themselves, but also their loved ones who often, particularly in the case of aging patients, serve as caregivers and 'quarterbacks' in coordinating care.
The ongoing failure to adequately tackle these challenges will risk the quality of care offered to all Ontarians. According to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, a national alliance of leading scientific and engineering societies, "over the past 15 years, three federal reviews and several provincial independent commissions, Canadians have consistently called for changes to their health-care system. Clearly, the current capacity for the Canadian health-care system to meet the needs of people living with chronic conditions is limited. The human and economic costs of inaction are unacceptable and growing."
"The province's health-care system is facing very serious challenges at a time when patients and caregivers are relying more and more on the care doctors provide," said Dr. Toth. "That's why Ontario's doctors are launching Check-Up Ontario—we owe it to all patients to identify new and innovative solutions to tackle the very serious challenges posed by an aging population."
Through their consultations with community leaders, advocates and health-care experts, Ontario's doctors will identify what patients and families need from the system, as well as what physicians need from the system, in order to ensure timely access to patient-focused care in Ontario.
"Ontario's doctors are advocating for a health-care system that is focused on meeting patient needs," added Dr. Toth. "We are caring for elderly and chronically-ill patients every day and know that by working together, we can improve care and solve the challenges facing our health-care system."
Backgrounder on Chronic Conditions
The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) represents more than 34,000 physicians and medical students across the province. Ontario's doctors work closely with patients to encourage healthy living practices and illness prevention. In addition to delivering front-line services to patients, Ontario's doctors play a significant role in helping shape health care policy, as well as implementing initiatives that strengthen and enhance Ontario's health care system.
SOURCE Ontario Medical Association
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