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Twenty-eight Ontarians who have looked at the inner-workings of the province’s health system recommend more collaboration, integration and accountability to help ensure the sustainability of high-quality, accessible and publicly-funded health care.
A report released today shows that an informed citizen perspective brings new clarity to old debates and can help propose solutions to some of the major challenges facing Canadian health care.
The report commissioned by PwC, invited 28 randomly-selected citizens from across the province to meet over three weekends in Toronto from April-June 2011. One male and one female panel member was selected from each of the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) and with the age profile matching that of the population distribution of the province. This process and their discussions were facilitated by public engagement company, MASS LBP.
Their work makes 13 major recommendations concerning transformational change, some of these can be summarized into five themes (below). The entire report is available on PwC’s website www.pwc.com/ca/shapethefuture.
1. Improve Accountability and Incentives. Link compensation for physicians to measurable patient outcomes and satisfaction, encourage health professionals to form interdisciplinary primary health teams, expand reporting in hospitals that measure quality and patient satisfaction.
2. Strengthen Community Care. Requires strengthening of partnerships, mobilization of volunteers, creation of patient and community support groups, reduce cyclical funding constraints, prepare for an aging population with new resources for community services that keep people at home.
3. Improve Access and Timeliness. Expand family health team models. Utilize nurse practitioners more widely in primary care clinics and emergency departments, and develop a centralized specialist referral system.
4. Expedite eHealth and improve information-sharing. Communicate the importance of eHealth while addressing access and privacy issues.
5. Step up Prevention and Promotion. Direct a share of alcohol and tobacco taxes towards health promotion. Expand nutrition and phys-ed in schools, more public education on active living, better food labeling.
“The process was very inspiring to witness. We had such dedication from these citizens who came together and drafted an exceptional report. One of the most positive outcomes from their observations is that the solution for sustainable health care isn’t just about money—they believe the system can be improved by transforming and improving the service delivery,” says Barbara Pitts, PwC’s national health care leader.
Adds Peter MacLeod, Principal of MASS LBP and lead facilitator for the project: “The citizens were very focused on the changes they would like to see. More collaboration, more integration and more accountability is, in their view, key to ensuring the sustainability of Ontario’s public-funded health system.”
“The panellists stressed the importance of having a broader set of health care providers working more closely together in the delivery of patient care. This is a key point they have made—that the current model can be changed and this can impact efficiencies and service quality,” says Pitts.
“The panel also believes that the system could do a better job of sharing information. They want to see eHealth expedited. They also want the government to become much more aggressive with campaigns to promote healthy eating and active living,” adds MacLeod.
The twenty-eight participants were randomly selected from among respondents to 10,000 invitations sent to households across Ontario. With more than 70 hours of group and individual work, and 20 presentations from respected health leaders, the panel members addressed a wide range of issues concerning the sustainability of the provinces’ health care system.
Note to Editors:
B-roll available at http://download.pwc.com/ca/crphs/1085-06-crp-b-roll-720.zip and photos of the citizen panel sessions are available from the media contacts listed above.
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