HEALTH CARE MUST BE A PRIORITY IN NEXT ELECTION: ONTARIO'S DOCTORS

TORONTO, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - With a provincial election less than eight months away, Ontario's doctors released their key health priorities and called on political parties to make improving health care a priority. The Ontario Medical Association's (OMA) policy platform, "Better care. Healthier patients. A stronger Ontario.", contains 41 recommendations designed to improve patient care and strengthen Ontario's health care system. 

While the economy will be a key issue in the upcoming election, recent polling conducted on behalf of the OMA reveals that, 9 in 10 Ontarians believe that health care is the most important issue.

"Better care. Healthier patients. A stronger Ontario." has been in development for over a year and included a comprehensive and thorough consultation process with patients and physicians.  Some specific policy recommendations include:

  • Fight childhood obesity by requiring fast food chains to list calorie contents on menu boards, and by mandating physical activity in our high schools.
  • Stop 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;
  • Reducing the number of ALC patients by increasing long-term care capacity and home support services
  • Expanding the number of Physician Assistants (PAs) and allowing them to work across the spectrum of medical care; and
  • Introducing new measures to make it easier for low income students to consider medical school.  

In the coming weeks, physicians across Ontario will be meeting with Members of Provincial Parliament and candidates in their communities to encourage the adoption of the OMA's policy recommendations and to reinforce that health care continues to be the most important issue for Ontarians.   

To support this advocacy work, the OMA also launched a province-wide advertising campaign to support the release of the platform and convince MPPs of the need to make improving health care a priority. The ad campaign includes radio, television, online, print and outdoor media across the province.

Quotes

"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 each of the political parties to commit to making health care a priority in the next election."

Mark MacLeod, MD, President of the Ontario Medical Association

"When patients are at the centre of the design of our health care policies, the highest quality of care can be delivered.  Ontario's doctors are on the front-lines every day, caring for and treating patients which provides us with a unique insight into what is and is not working for patients."

Mark MacLeod, 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 have 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

www.oma.org


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