McGuinty Government Health Care Legislation Improves Access to Services and Better Protects Public Safety

    Latest Bill Marks Milestone in Government's Efforts to Deliver Results in
    Health Care for Ontarians

    TORONTO, June 4 /CNW/ - The Health System Improvements Act, 2007, is the
tenth piece of legislation passed by Health and Long-Term Care Minister George
Smitherman in one of the most productive terms in the health portfolio in the
past thirty years.
    "We are moving forward to modernize our health system to provide greater
access to services and better protect public safety," Smitherman said. "All
ten pieces of legislation, including this Act, will help to make our health
care system more responsive to the needs of Ontarians."
    On Thursday, the government passed the Health System Improvements Act,
2007. Highlights of the new law include:

    -   Increasing transparency of health regulatory colleges by requiring
        them to post information on their websites such as:

        -  findings of malpractice and professional negligence against
           regulated health care professionals;
        -  findings of professional misconduct related to offences committed
           by regulated health care professionals where they were found
           guilty (e.g., criminal offences); and
        -  enhanced summaries of discipline decisions about regulated health
           care professionals.
    -   Establishing the first-ever Ontario Agency for Health Protection and
        Promotion - a centre for public health excellence that will provide
        research, scientific and technical advice and support.
    -   Enhancing services that optometrists provide, improving access to
        dental hygienists, and establishing new colleges to regulate four
        additional health professions - naturopathy, homeopathy, kinesiology
        and psychotherapy.
    -   The Chase McEachern Act (Heart Defibrillator Civil Liability), 2007
        which will provide liability protection to individuals, who attempt
        to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in an emergency, and
        to owners and occupiers of premises with AEDs. Chase McEachern was a
        young boy who died of a heart condition who had wanted to promote the
        installation and use of defibrillators to save lives.

    "Our son Chase had a dream of seeing more defibrillators available in
more public places to save more lives," said John McEachern, Chase's father.
"My wife Dorothy, our son Cole, my family and I, are honoured to see the Chase
McEachern Act become law, keeping the dream our late son had for public
defibrillators, very much alive.
    During Minister Smitherman's term as Minister of Health and Long-Term
Care the following legislation has been passed:

    -   Personal Health Information Protection Act;
    -   Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act;
    -   Transitional Physician Payment Review Act;
    -   Health Protection and Promotion Amendment Act;
    -   Tobacco Control Statute Law Amendment Act;
    -   Local Health System Integration Act;
    -   Transparent Drug System for Patients Act;
    -   Traditional Chinese Medicine Act;
    -   Long Term Care Homes Act;
    -   Health System Improvements Act.

    Today's initiative is part of the McGuinty government's plan for
innovation in public health care, building a system that delivers on three
priorities - keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing
better access to doctors and nurses.

    This news release, along with other media materials, such as matte
stories and audio clips, on other subjects, are available on our website at: under the News Media section.

    For more information on achievements in health care, visit:

    Disponible en français.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: David Spencer, Minister's
Office, (416) 327-4320; David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,
(416) 314-6197; Members of the general public: 1-866-532-3161

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