TORONTO – Ontario Liberal Leadership Candidate Steven Del Duca will introduce a Patient’s Bill of Rights if elected leader of the Ontario Liberals and Premier of Ontario.
Del Duca’s Patient’s Bill of Rights (PBOR) would be a mixture of new tools, developed with health stakeholders, for government to incent better performance and penalize failures.
Del Duca would also re-hire a Patient Ombudsman and task that person to work with a once again independent Health Quality Ontario (HQO) to monitor adherence to the PBOR and issue an annual public report to outline progress, shortcomings and potential solutions.
“It’s time to give patients the power. The Patient’s Bill of Rights will guarantee timely access to a healthcare practitioner for all Ontarians, timely access to emergency care, timely access to specialist care, access to mental health and addictions care, access to your own medical records and more,” said Steven Del Duca.
“We have a shortage of frontline workers, it’s imperative we implement the right funding priorities to truly impact health outcomes.”
“We need truly integrated care that puts patients at the centre. Doug Ford’s solutions to healthcare has been slogans. There is no plan to better quality of care in Ontario from the Progressive Conservatives.”
The Patient’s Bill of Rights will enshrine the following:
Hold healthcare in your hand. Steven will work with both public and private sector innovators to create a suite of apps that will allow Ontarians to access health care from their computer or phone – whether it’s finding accurate health information, getting help connecting with needed care, accessing health records, or having a video visit with their doctor.
Get access to a family doctor or nurse practitioner within 24 to 48 hours when you need it regardless of where you live in Ontario. Steven will work with the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), other health professional associations and organized labour to launch a comprehensive health human resources strategy to get practitioners where they’re needed, consult with rural and northern communities to identify and address gaps in access to services, and invest in emerging technologies like virtual care.
Get the medication you need. Steven will work with the federal government as they introduce universal pharmacare so no Ontarian is forced to pay out of pocket for necessary drugs. The plan would cover all medications currently listed on Ontario’s public drugs formulary, not just 125 medications as suggested by the NDP. He will also develop a rare disease strategy and will work with health R+D to make sure Ontario is an attractive place to bring new therapies.
Have timely treatment when you go to the Emergency Room. Working with the hospital and emergency room community, Steven will set meaningful and achievable target times within which all patients will know they should be assessed, treated and sent home or admitted to a hospital bed.
Access specialist and surgical care when you need it. Steven will set wait time guarantees for seeing a specialist and getting surgery once it’s determined to be necessary. The clock will start ticking the moment a person is referred to a specialist for care or consideration of surgery. Steven will make the right investments, so we have enough specialists and surgical capacity to hit those targets as well as the technology investments to track and measure referral times.
Access comprehensive mental health and addictions care. Steven would make a generational investment in mental health services, including community supports, acute care, and addictions services. People with addictions will get help when they ask for it – not when the system decides they’re ready. And access to talk therapy will be significantly expanded.
Get your health information. Steven would make it easier for people to access their personal health records digitally, so all you need is a password and an internet connection. Your health records would travel with you when you transition from one care setting to another.
Receive care with dignity, care that is compassionate and considers your needs. Steven will ensure providers are educated on the special needs of different communities and uphold every Ontarian’s right to dignity in receiving care. He will increase access to culturally-appropriate care and he invest in stronger fertility supports, access to contraception, and free PrEP coverage.
Have truly integrated care that puts you at the centre. Steven will streamline care co-ordination, so nobody has to tell their story over and over to one provider after another. System navigators and coordinators in primary care will help people navigate our complex health system. And digital tools and new care and funding models will knock down walls between providers.