End of life care must be a priority: New OMA President

TORONTO, May 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Dr. Scott Wooder, a family physician from Stoney Creek, committed to leading an examination on how end of life care affects quality of care as he was sworn in as the 132nd President of the Ontario Medical Association. In the coming year, the OMA will play a lead role in developing a province wide strategy for end of life care in priority areas such as organ donation and palliative care. In addition he committed to putting a focus on raising awareness of end of life issues and to educate the public on the responsibilities that individuals can take in deciding their own end of life care plan. 

Dr. Wooder has been practicing comprehensive family medicine in Hamilton for over 27 years.  In addition to end of life care, Dr. Wooder will focus on other initiatives including:

  • Pressing the need for immediate action to tackle obesity, especially in children;
  • Continuing to push for adequate programs to treat alcohol abuse; and
  • The release of an advocacy platform with recommendations on strengthening the health care system.

Over the last several years, Ontario's doctors have put forward a number of suggestions and ideas that have improved patient care and access to services.  Recognizing the ongoing fiscal challenges and the prospect of a snap election, Dr. Wooder indicated that Ontario's doctors will work with all parties to find common ground and advance issues that are in the best interests of patients.

The recent Physician Services Agreement found $400 million in savings, which is in addition to the over $300 million that Ontario's doctors have already helped the government find in the past two years and has been re-invested back into the health services.  Since 2003, Ontario's doctors have had tremendous success improving patient care and strengthening the health care system, including:

  • Helping 2.5 million more Ontarians find a family doctor that did not have one in 2003;
  • Over 9 million patients are benefitting from electronic medical records; and
  • Nearly 10million patients rostered in primary care groups along with nearly 8,000 doctors.


"It's not easy, and no one likes to talk about death, dying or being incapacitated.  The fact is that it's an important conversation to have with your family or care givers so that everyone is on the same page - from family members to the doctors and health care providers. It's truly about providing quality patient care.  Physicians have a great deal of expertise and training to draw on in this area and I think we have a responsibility to take a leadership role in developing a province wide strategy for end of life care."

SOURCE: Ontario Medical Association

For further information:

OMA Media Relations at 416.340.2862 or toll-free at 1.800.268.7215, ext. 286
media@oma.org @OntariosDoctors


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