TORONTO, April 28, 2022—Ontario’s doctors appreciate the investment in building health-care capacity and improving patient care announced in today’s provincial budget.
The budget contains measures that will help patients, including an additional $204 million for mental health and addiction services, $1 billion to expand home care and the new Ontario Seniors Care at Home tax credit.
The Ontario Medical Association looks forward to seeing more details about the $300 million that will be spent for the Surgical Recovery Program in 2022-23 and other government plans for dealing with wait times.
“The health-care investments announced are welcome and necessary to clear the backlog of 21 million tests, surgeries and other medical services built up during the pandemic and deal with the pre-existing issue of wait times,” said OMA President Dr. Adam Kassam. “We know that wait times are the No. 1 issue for doctors and for patients. All levels of government need to do more to ensure Ontarians get the diagnostic tests, surgeries, procedures and care they need.”
Reducing wait times is one of the five pillars of Prescription for Ontario: Doctors’ 5-Point Plan for Better Health Care, the Ontario Medical Association’s roadmap for improving health care in the province and repairing the cracks exposed by the pandemic.
The OMA is also calling for the creation of publicly funded Integrated Ambulatory Centres — free-standing centres that would work with local hospitals to provide OHIP-insured medical services, including surgeries and procedures, on an outpatient basis.
This innovative new model of care would reduce wait times by shifting many non-emergency, less complex surgeries to outpatient centres. This would free up hospital beds and operating rooms, allowing them to focus on more complex, acute and emergency patients and procedures as well as reduce wait times.
“Ontario’s health-care system is a strong competitive advantage for attracting people and investment to the province,” said OMA CEO Allan O’Dette. “The Ontario Medical Association encourages the government to continue to make further investments to strengthen it.”
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 more information, please contact:
Leslie Shepherd, OMA Director of Earned and Social Media