Our healthcare system affects all Ontarians, and is one thing that people depend on most. I welcome the report from the Premier’s Council. It identifies challenges we know exist in health care. I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Devlin that there is much to be proud of within our healthcare system.
The report released this morning identified common barriers to access in our system, and drives forward a conclusion that many of us have reached – that community care is the answer in Ontario. People want to receive care close to home, in the most appropriate care setting.
Navigation is a serious barrier to care in our system and it must be addressed to improve the lives of those who need care. The solutions to the challenges our health care system faces are community-based. They depend on local leadership being given the capacity to drive the outcomes their communities need.
The Ford government is heading rapidly in the opposite direction of what is outlined in this report. Doug Ford is focused on taking decision-making out of communities and concentrating them in downtown Toronto. While the report is calling for more investment in mental health, this government has drastically cut planned investments in mental health.
Healthcare isn’t one-size fits all and improving our health care system is not a job with an end date. It is ongoing work; it is costly and it is complex. It is not simply about a financial balance sheet – it’s about people and families and their care. The people of this province need to be the first consideration in health-care decision making.