Insufficient capacity in community mental health and addictions care has been identified as one of the top issues straining the province’s health system in a new report by an Ontario government advisory council.
Hallway Healthcare: A System Under Strain, released Thursday, is the first report produced by the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine, a group comprised of health system leaders, including senior administrators and frontline health care professionals, to provide strategic advice to the Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
The report identified three main causes of capacity challenges in the current health system:
- A lack of hospital or long-term care beds to meet the needs of the population
- Insufficient capacity in community care systems, like home care and mental health and addictions care, to divert people from hospitals
- Beds across the system being used ineffectively, meaning people spending time in hospital beds because they can’t access other health care options
In addition to capacity pressures, the report notes that difficulty navigating the health care system and long wait times have a negative impact on patient health as well as family, provider and caregiver well-being, and more effective coordination at the system level and at the point of care would make the system more efficient.
The advisory council’s findings reiterate long-standing problems with the current health care system and the negative impact it has on individuals seeking help for mental health or addictions issues.
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division is pleased the advisory council has identified the importance of community-based mental health and addictions services. Community-based mental health and addictions agencies like CMHA Ontario branches are key contributors to ending hallway medicine in this province.
Through this report, the government has recognized the significant role the community-based mental health and addictions sector must play in ending hallway medicine. We look forward to working with this government to help it invest a record $1.9 billion commitment, which was matched by the federal government, to support the mental health and addictions system.
Read the full report, Hallway Healthcare: A System Under Strain.