Every resident of Barrie and the surrounding region can have their say in shaping the future of health care in a survey launched today by the Ontario Medical Association.
The survey, at Betterhealthcare.ca, will be used by the OMA to create recommendations to improve health-care services locally and across Ontario as the province emerges from the pandemic. The recommendations will address immediate health-care priorities as well as long-term care, the backlog of health-care services built up during the pandemic, access to mental health and other issues that have not had the attention the past 15 months or so has shown they deserved.
“This is a huge province and health-care priorities here can be very different from those in other regions like Toronto,” said Dr. Sohal Goyal, chair of the local OMA district. “As we create a plan for the future of health care in Ontario, from the grassroots up, we are asking everyone across the province to provide their input to ensure local health care needs are considered.”
Doctors in every region of the province have been meeting to discuss what changes are needed to address the issues they experience first-hand every day, working on the front lines side-by-side with nurses and other health-care providers to save lives during the pandemic, and what issues need to be addressed as we emerge from it.
More than 8,400 Ontarians have died during the pandemic, including more than 3,900 seniors in long-term care. We have built up a pandemic deficit of more than 15.9 million missed patient services, roughly one for every Ontarian. The government’s own Financial Accountability Office says it will cost $1.3 billion and take 3-1/2 years to clear the backlog of surgeries and diagnostic procedures.
“It starts with hearing from our patients, their families, friends and neighbours about their health-care priorities. Doctors are listening,” Dr. Goyal said. “It’s time to fix the cracks in the health-care system that COVID-19 has exposed here in Muskoka, the surrounding area and across the province. By completing the survey, we will help identify the first steps that need to be taken as the health-care system refocuses its efforts beyond the pandemic.”
For the next few months, the OMA will be consulting with the public, members, health-care stakeholders, community leaders, elected officials and government parties to inform its health-care recommendations.
For more information and to complete the survey go to: Betterhealthcare.ca