Mandate letter progress: Health and Long-Term Care
The Minister’s response letter to Premier Wynne, outlining the results achieved on key mandate priorities in 2014-15.
On this page Skip this page navigation
January 11, 2016
The Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Building
It is an honour to serve Ontarians as their Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and I thank you for this opportunity. I am pleased to report that we have made significant progress in delivering on our shared commitment to build a health care system that truly puts patients first. We are creating an accountable, efficient and transparent health care system that promotes healthier lifestyles for Ontarians and contributes to making our province the best place to grow up and grow older.
In January 2015, we launched the Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care to improve the health care experience by ensuring it is patient-centred. Our plan will provide better access to quality health services, ensure that every Ontarian who wants a primary care provider has one, and protect our health care system for generations to come.
Putting Patients at the Centre
- We have put forward a proposal to achieve greater integration of health care services, strengthen patient-centred care and meet our commitment to ensure that every Ontarian who wants a primary care provider has access to one.
- Our plan, Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care, was released in May 2015, and lays out the 10 steps we are taking to ensure people can receive care where they want to be — in their homes and communities — instead of in a hospital or in long-term care.
- We are expanding access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) to an estimated 4,000 additional Ontarians.
- Immunization 2020 is a first-of-its-kind roadmap for Ontario that will help our government and its partners modernize our immunization system over the next five years.
- We continue to implement our Personal Support Worker Workforce Stabilization Strategy to bring stability to this workforce by paying these dedicated professionals more appropriately, and investing in training and other initiatives.
- We are improving the capacity of the health care system through our investment of $11 billion over 10 years to expand, renew and modernize hospitals.
- We have engaged key health partners to receive advice on the implementation of our government’s commitment to allow registered nurses to prescribe medications so patients receive faster access to the care they need.
- We are expanding access to referrals for sex reassignment surgery for transgender people.
- The associate minister announced the implementation of the Attending Nurse Practitioner in Long-Term Care Homes initiative last fall. This initiative will strengthen the care that residents of long-term care homes receive and ensure ongoing co-ordinated care. This is part of a three-year plan to provide funding for up to 75 new attending nurse practitioners in long-term care homes.
- My Parliamentary Assistant, John Fraser, has consulted with stakeholders to help inform the creation of a comprehensive plan for better palliative care.
- My Parliamentary Assistant, Indira Naidoo-Harris, is hosting targeted stakeholder roundtables across the province to inform requirements for a dementia strategy.
Moving Forward on Accountability and Transparency
- We continue to work in partnership with health care administrators, institutions and providers to drive accountability, transparency and quality throughout the system, while limiting expenditure growth. We introduced the Health Information Protection Act to better protect the personal health information of patients, bring greater accountability in the event of a privacy breach, increase transparency when critical incidents occur and maintain quality in Ontario’s health care system.
- We have selected Ontario’s first patient ombudsman following public consultation on the skills and experiences Ontarians wanted to see in a candidate and an independent selection process. The Office of the Patient Ombudsman will open on July 1, 2016.
- We are adopting all of the recommendations of the Ontario Health Innovation Council to support more made-in-Ontario health technologies that will improve patient care and spur economic growth, including hiring a Chief Health Innovation Strategist. In October 2014, we asked each council and transitional council to make transparency a priority in their strategic plans, and to publicly disclose full, detailed and useful information with respect to inspections they conduct (for those colleges that perform inspections). All colleges have now confirmed that their strategic plans include transparency as a priority.
Collaborating on Shared Responsibilities across Government
- As part of our commitment to delivering on the next stage of the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, we have created the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council, which has delivered its first report to our ministry.
- We have launched a dedicated Aboriginal engagement process with First Nations, Métis and urban Aboriginal partners to inform phase two of Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.
- Working with partner provinces and territories, we continue to support work on brand name and generic drugs through the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA). A new pCPA office was opened in Ontario in September 2015 to support this work.
- I have continued to be an active proponent of a pan-Canadian pharmacare strategy and have continued to engage with my federal, provincial and territorial counterparts.
- Our ministry is working closely with its French Language Health Services Advisory Council and Francophone stakeholders to improve access to French-language health services.
Beyond the progress we have made, much work is underway to address the other priorities laid out in my mandate letter. I look forward to working with all of our partners as we continue to make progress on behalf of the people of Ontario.
Dr. Eric Hoskins
|Mandate Letter Commitment||Progress To Date|
|Lead the shift toward a sustainable, accountable system that provides co-ordinated quality care to people, when and where they need it. You will partner with administrators, health care providers and patients to achieve our shared commitment for a system that is there for generations.||
|Keep in mind three key goals: people receiving the right care at the right time and the right place; an accountable, efficient and transparent system; and promoting healthier lifestyles for Ontarians through shared responsibility across government.||
|Foster collaboration across the system and make the necessary trade-offs to shift spending to where Ontario will get the best value for our health care dollars — which must be shared between our health system partners.||
|Ensuring that patients receive timely access to the most appropriate care in the most appropriate place — and that the needs of Ontario’s patients are at the centre of the system. This means care that is appropriately co-ordinated around the person receiving it, especially for those who are transitioning through and across systems and sectors.||
|Championing the delivery of quality co-ordinated care to patients by making the best use of the skills and capacity of all our health care providers, hospitals, community clinics and organizations, long-term care homes and others. You will take the lead in ensuring that changes are informed by evidence — and that Ontario’s precious health care dollars improve quality of care and health outcomes for patients and families.||
|Continuing to expand home and community care to ensure that people receive care as close to home as possible.||
|Strengthening Ontario’s end-of-life care.||
|Improving the capacity of the health care system by making the following investments: capital grants for major hospital expansion and redevelopment projects; community infrastructure to help shift care from hospitals to community settings; and home and community care services.||
|Bringing forward a plan to ensure that every Ontarian who wants one has a primary care provider.||
|Exploring options to improve wait times for referrals to specialist care.||
|Continuing to ensure that our system has the health human resources it requires to deliver quality and efficient care. This includes exploring appropriate expanded scope of practice for providers and more models for collaborative care.||
|Building on the 2014 Budget announcement to increase wages for Personal Support Workers (PSWs) in the home and community care sector, your goal is to develop a strategy to bring stability to this workforce and ensure we meet the need for PSWs in the long term.||
|Collaborating with hospitals to jointly bring forward a plan to reduce or cap hospital parking rates for frequent visitors.||
|Exploring ways to improve dementia supports, including new memory clinics.||
|Continuing the pursuit of affordable drug access for patients in partnership with your federal, provincial and territorial colleagues. This will include a co-ordinated process for approving new and expensive drugs to minimize the wait for people who need these lifesaving medications.||
|We have succeeded in bringing down annual health spending growth from about six per cent in 2012 to about three per cent in 2013 – without compromising care. We did so in partnership with our health care administrators, institutions and providers. You will now work with them, as outlined below, to continue to drive accountability, transparency and quality throughout the system, while limiting expenditure growth.||
|Continuing to change Ontario’s funding system for hospitals, Community Care Access Centres and long-term care homes so that it reflects the care that people need and receive. I also ask that you explore opportunities to optimize quality and value in community laboratories and the broader laboratory sector.||
|Partnering with stakeholders to establish the patient ombudsman, who will resolve patient complaints and drive improvements in quality across the health care sectors.||
|Continuing to work toward delivering excellent air ambulance service to patients that meets the highest standards of accountability and transparency.||
|Pursuing changes to deliver more efficient and co-ordinated care to patients. This will include a review focusing on improving patient outcomes and value for money of Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), Community Care Access Centres and Public Health Units.||
|Exploring options to further strengthen the framework for ensuring that the community sector and LHIN-funded health service providers are accountable for delivering quality patient care, including expanding the Excellent Care for All Act.||
|Continuing to respect the negotiation process with the Ontario Medical Association, which enhances our respective abilities to improve productivity, deliver quality services to patients and ensure fiscal sustainability.||
|Accelerating the adoption of new health technologies and innovations that demonstrate value and contribute to a more productive and sustainable health care system. You will do so by partnering with the ministers of Research and Innovation, and of Government and Consumer Services — and by continuing to work with the Ontario Health Innovation Council.||
|Striving for a system that delivers the best quality care to meet the needs of patients and that continues our success in lowering the growth in health care spending. With support from the Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (Long-Term Care and Wellness), you will continue our drive for a sustainable, accountable and quality health care system.||
|Working with the Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs on initiatives that will especially impact seniors.||
|Working with the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs on ongoing work related to Aboriginal health and wellness.||
|Delivering on the next phase of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy to support the delivery of co-ordinated, timely and quality services. You will lead this work — partnering with those across government and across systems — to support healthier, resilient and inclusive communities.||
|Working as part of Realizing Our Potential, Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy to expand access to health benefits for children in low-income families. You will do so in collaboration with the ministers Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, of Community and Social Services, of Children and Youth Services, and others. This will build on work underway to expand access to existing dental programs to all low-income children. I also ask that you explore long-term options for a sustainable program that provides health benefits to lower-income Ontarians.||
|Helping develop a policy on community hubs that reflects the perspective of health and wellness. You will work on this in partnership with the ministers of Education and of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (Long-Term Care and Wellness), and others — and in consultation with stakeholders.||
|Working with the Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (Long-Term Care and Wellness) to build a culture of health and community wellness, including supports and programs, to help people stay healthy. This will include encouraging Ontarians to play an active role in health care by participating in healthy living and wellness, and by taking advantage of programs that support these goals. You will work in collaboration with other ministers, including the ministers of Children and Youth Services, and of Education, and the Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs.||