Letter to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Dear Premier Ford and Minister Elliott,

As Chair of the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine, I hear from patients regarding what it’s like to receive care in our system. I am impressed by the dedication of health care professionals who deliver high-quality health care throughout our communities; however, I am also concerned.

The concern is that on any given day in the province, there are at least 1000 patients receiving health care in the hallways of our hospitals. At the same time, the wait time to access a bed in a long-term care home is 146 days, and this can vary significantly depending on where you happen to reside in Ontario.

There is much to be proud of within our health care system. There are examples of innovation, and there are teams that are working seamlessly together to provide wrap-around services for patients with complex needs. However, we’ve also come to understand that there are many barriers within the system that just don’t make sense.

This report is the first of a number of public reports the Council will provide to you in order to help inform the future of health care in the province. The next report will contain a series of recommendations, and will be solutions-focused. While each of the reports will contain our best advice for you, these reports are also for the people of Ontario.

Our primary goal is to be transparent and accountable to the public while we consider the current challenges and future needs of the health care system. Over the next three years, the public will be able to track our progress and participate in our work. They will keep us accountable and help us reach our goal. By doing our work well, the public will be able to see the improvement at their local hospital and across the health care system.

Our objective is to help ensure Ontarians have a health care system that has the right mix of health care professionals, the right number of hospital and long-term care beds, and that care is available when and where it’s needed.

Tough decisions will be required to address the challenges facing our health care system, while we continue to champion the health care professionals already leading great work in our communities.

A word of thanks to the Council Members – each of whom has brought a wealth of experience and knowledge, enthusiasm and optimism to our discussions. I look forward to our continued partnership in the years to come, and to turning the vision into reality for the people of Ontario.

Dr. Rueben Devlin, Chair
Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine