"The voice that has been deafening in its silence is the voice of the
patient," says Ontario Health Minister

TORONTO, March 29 /CNW/ - Today, Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care said there is a need for more patient involvement in healthcare decisions.

"If patients designed a system that reflected their needs, we would have a much more highly integrated system," said the Hon Deb Matthews. "It's your system, you own the system, you pay for the system, the system belongs to you."

Matthews was speaking to the first ever Canadian Patient Summit.

In answer to a question about appointing a patient advocate Matthews said she was open to a discussion on how the role of a patient advocate would work.

"I sure have seen the value that the advocate has provided for kids involved in various systems in the province," the Minister said, responding to a question from an Ontario patient. "I am really open to your suggestions, I would love to learn about what that would mean."

The Minister said she hears from the healthcare establishment, but that patients are too often absent from the healthcare conversation.

"The voice that has been deafening in its silence is the voice of the patient," she commented. "We need to hear the voice of patients far, far, far more than we do today."

The Canadian Patient Summit, the work of over 30 non-profit organizations, brings together more than 100 patients living with chronic medical conditions, caregivers, health professionals and policy makers to share their solutions for engaging patients and caregivers more effectively in the decisions on the future of our healthcare system.

SOURCE CANADIAN PATIENT SUMMIT

For further information: For further information: please visit www.canadianpatientsummit.ca or contact: Tiffanie Ing, Communications Coordinator, Canadian Patient Summit, (647) 296-7577, (416) 485-2292; Charles Hain, Communications, Canadian Patient Summit, (647) 291-9046, (416) 485-2292

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