McGuinty Government Holding Public Consultation On Future Of Health Care

    Government Wants To Hear From Ontarians On 10-Year Strategic Plan

    SAULT STE.MARIE, ON, March 5 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government wants to
hear from local residents as it develops a 10-year strategic plan for the
province's health care system, Health and Long-Term Care Minister George
Smitherman announced today.
    "Listening to Ontarians is essential to the development of a long-term
plan for the province's health system because it is their system," Smitherman
said. "Our government has made significant progress in increasing access to
health care and bringing down wait times. We want to make sure our health
system will be there for Ontarians in the future because we're in this
    A public regional consultation will be held on Tuesday, March 6 at
6:00 p.m. at:

    Sault Area Hospital
    969 Queen Street East
    Plummer Site, Riverview Centre
    Riverview Auditorium
    Sault Ste. Marie

    Speakers at the meeting will include Mathilde Gravelle Bazinet, Chair of
the Board of Directors, of the North East Local Health Integration Network
    There will also be a number of other sites available where residents can
participate through video-conferencing. These include:

    NOSM Sudbury
    Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Health Sciences
    Educational Resource Centre, Room 242
    935 Ramsey Lake Road
    Sudbury ON P3E 2C6

    West Parry Sound
    Health Centre
    6 Albert Street
    Classroom 2314
    Parry Sound ON P2A 3A4

    Timmins and District Hospital
    700 Ross Avenue East
    Lower Level Classroom
    Timmins ON P4N 8P2

    Temiskaming Hospital
    421 Shepherdson Road
    Auditorium A
    New Liskeard ON P0J 1P0

    Moosonee - James Bay General Hospital
    1 Atim Road
    Moosonee ON P0L 1Y0

    NEMHC - North Bay
    North Bay Campus
    4700 Highway 11 North
    North Bay ON P1B 8L1

    The consultation will allow local residents an opportunity to have their
say about the future of health care in Ontario, as well as front-line health
care providers and organized health care groups. Members of the public who
wish to attend or participate in the consultations can obtain more information
by calling 1-866-968-9582 or by visiting
    The 2.5-hour session will highlight the government's progress in building
a stronger health care system in Ontario, health and social trends in the
province, future system challenges and opportunities, and an overview of what
the government and Local Health Integration Networks have already heard from
the public.
    Participants at the session will then be engaged in a dialogue about the
important values and priorities that will shape Ontario's future health care
    The regional consultation is just one of many ways that the government
has been obtaining feedback from Ontarians on their health care priorities and
concerns. Opinions have been collected through other meetings with health care
stakeholders, telephone surveys, e-mails to a dedicated website
( and through a toll-free phone line: 1-866-532-3161.
    The consultation will be part of the development of a strategic plan,
which is a commitment legislated under the Local Health System Integration
Act. The plan will set out a vision, priorities and strategic directions for
our health care system over the next 10 years.
    "Developing a plan is a huge challenge and responsibility," said
Smitherman. "And we can't do it without listening to the thoughts, concerns
and ideas from the people of Ontario."
    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; A.G. Klei, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,
(416) 314-6197; Members of the general public: 1-866-532-3161

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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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