January 31, 2019
Premier's Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine Releases First Report
The Premier's Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine is releasing its first report, providing an overview of the problem of hallway health care in Ontario.
"There's much to be proud of in our health care system. However, there are also many barriers that make the system difficult to navigate for patients and providers," said Special Advisor and Chair of the Council Dr. Rueben Devlin. "This report is a first step in advising the government on how to transform Ontario's health care system."
The goal of this Council is to provide strategic advice to the Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care that will help to 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.
The Council is comprised of health system leaders, including senior administrators and frontline health care professionals, and is also informed by stakeholder groups and patients. During its first four months, the Council heard from over 340 patients, health care stakeholders, and members of its six sub-committees.
Hallway Health Care: A System Under Strain identifies three key findings:
- Difficulty navigating the health care system and long wait times have a negative impact on patients' health and on family, provider and caregiver well-being.
- The system is already facing capacity pressures and it does not have the appropriate mix of services, beds or digital tools to be ready for the expected increase in complex care needs.
- More effective coordination at the system level and at the point-of-care would make the system more efficient and achieve better value for taxpayer money.
The Council will now begin developing advice for the government on how to fix the problem of hallway health care. Recommendations will explore opportunities for improvement in digital health care, integrated health care delivery and finding efficiencies in the system to improve health outcomes for Ontarians.
"I encourage Ontarians to participate in the Council's work by providing feedback on our first report. This will keep us accountable and help us reach our goal of improving healthcare in Ontario and ending hallway medicine," said Dr. Devlin.
Ontarians can provide feedback on the report by visiting the following website and email address:
- On an average day in 2018, there were approximately 1000 patients waiting for a hospital bed in an unconventional space or emergency department stretcher.
- According to the 2018 Health Care Experience Survey, 41 per cent of Ontarians who went to the emergency department received care for a condition that could have been treated by their primary care provider.
- Currently in Ontario, less than 1 per cent of health care appointments are conducted virtually.