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____ Thursday October 1, 2015 ____


Ontario's Health Care

The Results Are In: Recruitment On for Ontario’s First Patient Ombudsman

Public Feedback to Inform Patient Ombudsman Hiring Process

Queens Park - Ontario is moving ahead to recruit its first-ever Patient Ombudsman, after receiving feedback from nearly 1,000 Ontarians on the qualifications they think are important for this role. “I want to thank the nearly 1,000 Ontarians who took the time to provide feedback on what you are looking for in a Patient Ombudsman. Your input is important because Ontario’s first Patient Ombudsman will help make sure your voice is heard as we work to improve both the quality of our health care system and the patient experience. Providing the public with input into the hiring process is an example of our government’s commitment to openness and transparency, and it’s an example of how we’re putting patients first," Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

As part of Ontario’s Open Government commitment, the public was invited to share their ideas on the skills, experience and personality traits that the Patient Ombudsman should have. This feedback has been incorporated into the current Patient Ombudsman selection process to guide recruitment for the new position.

The top three skills that Ontarians identified were:

• Can investigate facts and details to reveal the sources of a problem and enable its solutions.
• Can connect with decision-makers in the health care system.
• Can develop clear recommendations, based on large amounts of complex information.

When presented with a list of experiences, Ontarians identified a background in handling patient or consumer concerns as the most important. Finally, empathy and compassion were most commonly mentioned when people were asked about what additional skills, personality traits and experiences the Patient Ombudsman should possess.

The Patient Ombudsman will assist patients and their caregivers who have not had their concerns resolved through existing processes at hospitals, long-term care homes or community care access centres. The work of the Patient Ombudsman will also inform province-wide health care system quality improvement.

Establishing a Patient Ombudsman is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care. It will provide patients with faster access to the right care; better home and community care; the information they need to live healthy; and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.

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