TORONTO, May 5 /CNW/ - Ontario's doctors are reminding urban municipal leaders attending the 58th Annual Ontario Small Urban Municipalities (OSUM) Conference and Trade Show in the Town of Niagara On-The-Lake about the important role physicians play in their communities and of a strong and high functioning health-care system. This year's OSUM Conference and Trade Show brings urban municipal leaders together to discuss issues which affect small urban communities.

Recent polling conducted on behalf of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) reveals that 9 in 10 Ontarians believe that health care is the most important issue, despite the focus on jobs and the economy of late. In addition, polling data shows that regardless of which party Ontarians affiliate with they still choose health care as their number one issue.

Earlier this year, Ontario's doctors released their provincial election policy platform, 'Better Care. Healthier patients.  A stronger Ontario.' 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.

"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."
Stewart Kennedy, MD, President of the Ontario Medical Association

"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 urban municipal leaders and each of the political parties to commit to making health care a priority in the next election."
Stewart Kennedy, MD, President of the Ontario Medical Association

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 www.oma.org

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

For further information:

OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or toll-free at 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2862

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Ontario Medical Association

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