Ontario Doctors Welcome Plan to Reduce Wait Times

    Increased workloads and team-based care models have helped thousands of
    patients get access to care.

    TORONTO, March 25 /CNW/ - Today, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA)
welcomed the provincial government's budget commitments to reduce emergency
room wait times and improve access to diagnostic tests and surgeries. The OMA
also supports the focus in the provincial budget on preventative health and
expanding Family Health Teams.
    "The government has taken steps in recent years to reduce wait times, and
together with the hard work of doctors and other health-care professionals,
patients in targeted areas are getting better access to care," said Dr. Janice
Willett, President of the OMA. "The additional investments in general
surgeries are a positive step toward improving access for patients in the
    Willett called on the government to continue to make progress on
measuring all wait times so that we can identify problem areas that require
additional resources.
    The OMA is also pleased to see an expansion of inter-professional care
models with the addition of 50 Family Health Teams. As a result of these new
care models and other successful team models, Ontario doctors have been able
to care for thousands of patients who did not previous have a primary-care
physician. However, Dr. Willett expressed concern that the expansion of
nurse-only clinics will not build on the proven success of the team models.
    "Integrated team-care provides patients with access to the health
professionals they need, when they need it," said Dr. Willett. "With a
shortage of 2,000 doctors in the province, we need to build on the models that
help more patients access the care of a family doctor."
    Dr. Willett applauded new investments in health promotion and prevention
including, chronic disease prevention and management, childhood obesity, and
mental health services.
    "Doctors have been highlighting issues around child health for many years
and we are happy to see the government is making obesity and mental health a
priority," said Dr. Willett. "By raising a generation of healthier children we
will save on health-care costs in the future and set them on a better track
for adulthood."

    The OMA represent 24,000 Ontario doctors.

For further information:

For further information: OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or Toll
free at 1-800-286-7215 ext. 2862

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Ontario Medical Association

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