TORONTO, Dec. 29, 2021— Ontario’s doctors and health-care leaders are sharing their New Year’s resolutions for better health in 2022, as we close out a second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ontario Medical Association President Dr. Adam Kassam
“My 2022 medical resolution is to focus on wellness, mental health and family. The pandemic has underscored the importance of taking time to spend with loved ones as we continue to navigate the complexity of the next stage of our recovery.”
Health Minister Christine Elliott
“This new year I encourage all Ontarians to make getting vaccinated one of their resolutions. The COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. Whether you are the parent of a child aged five to 11 who needs their first shot or an individual aged 18 and older planning to get your booster, Team Ontario is here to help. We’re working around the clock to get more shots into arms, so please get yours as soon as you can. If you haven’t received your first or second dose of the vaccine, it’s not too late.”
Dr. Zain Chagla, infectious disease specialist, St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton
“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best resolution for 2022. Vaccines are safe and effective and they are the best way to protect you and those around you from contracting COVID-19.”
Dr. Lawrence Loh, medical officer of health for Peel Region
“My 2022 resolution is to continue highlighting the critical work that local public health does every day, not only in leading the COVID-19 pandemic response in our communities, but on the numerous health challenges that face Ontarians every day. Ontario's local public health system is one of our province's greatest strengths, with a long track record of working with numerous partners to bring our in-depth knowledge of our communities to bear in helping people live healthier and safer lives."
Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious disease specialist, Toronto General Hospital
“Inequities were highlighted during the pandemic. We now have momentum to address health issues that are highly prevalent in low-income and racialized neighbourhoods, and among essential workers. I would like to build on this momentum to make lasting positive change. On a personal note, I would like to spend more time with my family, eat in as many ‘hidden gem’ restaurants as possible and join a summer hockey league.”
Dr. Rose Zacharias, Ontario Medical Association president-elect
“My health-care system resolution for Ontario is to listen more and attend with curiosity every conversation, meeting, multi-lateral table discussion we are invited to. Leaning in and believing the best about the people inside a system that needs strategic attention, is what I am wishing for in 2022.”
Allan O’Dette, CEO of the OMA
“In 2022, I hope to see the adoption of Prescription for Ontario: Doctors' 5-Point Plan for Better Health Care. We have an opportunity in Ontario to reduce wait times, expand mental health and addiction services, improve home and community care, strengthen public health and pandemic preparedness and give every patient a team of digitally linked health-care providers.
Dr. Sarita Verma, dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine
“In 2022, we will make history as Canada's first free-standing medical university. Our resolution will be to stand fast in our commitment to advocacy in equity and inclusion, to aim for the betterment of health care in northern Ontario and to walk the talk on truth and reconciliation through excellence in research and education. We challenge all Ontario medical schools to do the same.”
Dr. Jennifer Kwan, family physician and health-care advocate, Burlington, Ont.
“My resolution is to look after my mental health by living with an attitude of gratitude and appreciating the small moments that make life meaningful.”
Dr. Mamta Gautam, psychiatrist, Ottawa
“My wish for the new year is for physicians and patients to work together in every encounter they have to create a mutually respectful and supportive team, and to continue to achieve excellence in patient care during this pandemic that has challenged every aspect of our health-care system.”
Dr. Maryna Mammoliti, chair of the OMA Section on Psychiatry
“Mental health affects every family in one way or another. People living in Ontario deserve to have access to in-patient psychiatric care, provided by highly trained multidisciplinary professionals with ongoing care. My wish for 2022 is for more comprehensive outpatient follow-up teams in all communities. We need to advocate with local MPPs to fund more community-based care, including mental health. Burnout is at all time high for physicians and health-care providers. Resignation is happening across North America. If we do not provide safe working environments for physicians and health-care providers, we won't have any left. The government must act to protect physicians, nurses and other health-care workers from abuse, assault and workplace violence. Ontarians deserve the best health care possible.”
Dr. Renata Vilella, vice-chair of the OMA’s Section on Psychiatry
“Being able to offer virtual psychotherapy during the pandemic has expanded my ability to better meet the needs of marginalized populations, by offering consistent treatment without some of the barriers that would have previously prevented people from accessing care. With virtual care here to stay, we can continue to enhance options to relieve suffering.”
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.
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