Ontario government to break down barriers to better patient care

Renewed, connected and sustainable health care system will reduce
hallway health care by focusing resources on patient needs


Feb. 26, 2019

QUEEN’S PARK – Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long Term Care, has announced the Government of Ontario’s long-term plan to fix and strengthen the public health care system by focusing directly on the needs of Ontario’s patients and families.

“The people of Ontario deserve a connected health care system that puts their needs first,” said Elliott. “At the same time the people of Ontario deserve peace of mind that this system is sustainable and accessible for all patients and their families, regardless of where you live, how much you make, or the kind of care you require.”

Ontario’s new plan would improve access to services and improve patient experience by:

  • Organizing health care providers to work as one coordinated team, focused on patients and specific local needs. Patients would experience easy transitions from one health provider to another (for example, between hospitals and home care providers, with one patient story, one patient record and one care plan). 
  • Providing patients, families and caregivers with help in navigating the public health care system, 24/7.
  • Integrating multiple provincial agencies and specialized provincial programs into a single agency to provide a central point of accountability and oversight for the health care system. This would improve clinical guidance and support for providers and enable better quality care for patients.
  • Improving access to secure digital tools, including online health records and virtual care options for patients, providing a 21st-century approach to health care.

“If we expect real improvements that patients will experience first-hand, we must better coordinate the public health care system, so it is organized around people’s needs and outcomes. This will enable local teams of health care providers to know and understand each patient’s needs and provide the appropriate, high-quality connected care Ontarians expect and deserve,” said Elliott.

Ontario’s renewed patient-centric approach is paired with historic investments in long-term care for seniors and improved mental health and addictions services for families. Ontario is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to establish a comprehensive and connected system for mental health and addictions treatment, and adding 15,000 new long-term care beds over five years and 30,000 beds over 10 years.

“Our government is taking a comprehensive, pragmatic approach to addressing our public health care system,” said Toby Barrett, MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk. “By relentlessly focusing on patient experience, and on better connected care, we will reduce wait times and end hallway health care. Ontarians can be confident that there will be a sustainable health care system for them when and where they need it.”

“Today’s announcement by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Christine Elliot goes a long way towards our government’s pledge to end hallway health care,” said Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman. “Whether it’s for hospitals in Oxford Country, or anywhere else in the province, patients and their families will benefit from reduced waiting lists and a more responsive health care system.”

“Our focus on patient experience will result in reduced wait times and end hallway health care in Brantford and Brant County,” said Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma.

Quick Facts

  • The government intends to introduce legislation that would, if passed, support the establishment of local Ontario Health Teams that connect health care providers and services around patients and families, as well as integrate multiple existing provincial agencies into a single health agency – Ontario Health.
  • The entire process will be seamlessly phased in to ensure that Ontarians can continue to contact their health care providers as usual throughout the transition process.
  • The government has consulted with patients, families, nurses, doctors and others who provide direct patient care, including the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine and its working groups, the Minister’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, as well as health system and academic experts.
  • Ontario currently has a large network of provincial and regional agencies, clinical oversight bodies and 1,800 health service provider organizations. This creates confusion for both patients and providers trying to navigate the health care system.

Additional Resources


For more information or to set up interviews, contact:

MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or toby.barrett@pc.ola.org

MPP Will Bouma at 519-759-0361or will.bouma@pc.ola.org

MPP Ernie Hardeman at 416-326-3067 or jeff.wigle@ontario.ca