Ontario's Doctors Respond to Budget
TORONTO - Ontario's doctors were pleased that the 2013 Ontario provincial budget reiterated its commitment to move ahead with the implementation of several key initiatives including children's mental health, reducing childhood obesity rates, the expansion of e-consultations, shifting more routine procedures out of hospital and into clinics, and further investments in home care and long-term care.
In the most recent Physician Services Agreement Ontario's doctors and the government agreed that modernizing the delivery of health care through e-consultations would enable patients to communicate with their doctor more easily and better connect family physicians with specialists.
For several years, Ontario's doctors have been leading the charge against obesity by putting forward a number of recommendations to fight increasing obesity rates, especially in children. Examples include calorie and sodium labelling in chain restaurants, restrictions in the marketing of junk food to kids and mandatory physical education in high school. Ontario's doctors urge the government to move ahead immediately with initiatives that will address this growing epidemic.
There has been some good progress on a number of initiatives that have resulted in improved patient access to care and services. More patients have a doctor, wait times are down for several key procedures and more patients have an electronic medical record. But there is more work to do. Ontario's doctors will continue to work with the government and be active partners in putting forward ideas that will strengthen and improve our health care system.
Dr. Doug Weir
Ontario Medical Association