Ontario has passed legislation that aims to help patients and their families obtain better access to a more local and integrated health care system, improving the patient experience and delivering higher-quality care.
The Patients First Act will help ensure patients are at the centre of the health care system. Once fully implemented, changes supported by the new legislation will:
- Improve access to primary care for people in Ontario, including a single number to call when they need health information or advice on where to find a new family doctor or nurse practitioner.
- Improve local connections between primary care providers, inter-professional health care teams, hospitals, public health and home and community care to ensure a smoother patient experience and transitions.
- Streamline and reduce administration of the health care system and direct savings into patient care.
- Enhance accountability to better ensure people in Ontario have access to care when they need it.
- Formally connect Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and local boards of health to leverage their community expertise and ensure local public health units are involved in community health planning.
- Strengthen the voices of patients and families in their own health care planning.
- Increase the focus on cultural sensitivity and the delivery of health care services to Indigenous peoples and French speaking people in Ontario.
Ontario will continue working with French language health leaders, First Nations, Métis, Inuit and urban Indigenous partners and health providers to ensure their voices are heard, in particular with respect to equitable access to services that meet their unique needs.