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News release
August 24, 2021

Reducing wait times, investing in new hospitals top health-care priorities, survey shows survey still open for area residents to make their voice heard on local health-care issues


TORONTO, Aug. 24, 2021 – Reducing wait times and investing in hospitals, clinics and other health-care facilities to improve access are the most important ways to improve health care in Toronto, interim results of one of the most comprehensive consultations in the 140-year history of the Ontario Medical Association show.

In the public survey that is central to the OMA consultation, one question asked people to identify their top priority for improving local health care other than dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a quarter (29 per cent) of the 1,107 Toronto residents who responded identified reducing wait times.

Improving health care including long-term care and home care for seniors was identified as the priority by 18 per cent of respondents, mental health and addictions by 16 per cent and social determinants of health such as poverty by 15 per cent.

In a second question, residents were asked, “what is the single most important thing that can be done to improve health-care services in your community today?” More than a third (37 per cent) chose “invest in new hospitals, clinics and other health-care facilities to improve access” and almost a quarter (23 per cent) chose “improve the delivery of public health information and services.” More than one in five respondents (21 per cent) chose “make it easier to get an appointment with my doctor.”

“These findings are incredibly important in helping us at the OMA develop a plan to improve health care and create a more integrated and sustainable system for all Ontarians,” said Dr. Adam Kassam, President of the OMA. “Toronto is one of the most diverse communities in the world. We face unique challenges and opportunities in ensuring we have a robust health-care system that is equitable and accessible. By completing this public survey, you help make the voice of Toronto heard.”

Among other public survey results specific to Toronto:

  • More than half of those who responded (55 per cent) said their views of the way local health care is delivered have become worse due to the pandemic, 13 per cent said their views have improved and 32 per cent said their views were unchanged.
  • When asked to grade the local health-care system on a scale of A, B, C or F, 30 per cent of those who responded gave it a B, 47 per cent gave it a C and 19 per cent gave it a failing grade. Four per cent gave it an A.
  • Half (51 per cent) of those who responded said the government should give improving health care in this community the same priority as economic recovery from the pandemic and more than a third (36 per cent) said it should be given the highest priority, above all other issues.
  • Forty-two per cent of those who responded said that the health-care issues that were important to them and their community were not being discussed at all and 41 per cent said that they were being discussed somewhat.
  • When asked to choose the statement that best reflected their views on the way health care is delivered in their community, 44 per cent selected “we need to do more to keep people healthy and out of doctors’ offices” and 23 per cent selected “wait times at our hospitals are too long and need to be reduced.”

More than 7,400 residents in more than 600 communities across Ontario have completed the survey to date. It is part of a broad consultation process that has involved doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals as well as community leaders across Ontario. The OMA will release its plan to improve health care based on the consultation process this fall.

There is still time for area residents to make their voice heard. The survey will remain open through the Labour Day weekend at

About the OMA

The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario’s 43,000 plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario’s health-care system.

For further information: OMA Media Relations at