As the 2018 provincial election approaches, the Ontario Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance (OCDPA) is spreading awareness on why chronic disease prevention needs to be a top health priority for Ontario’s new government.
The OCDPA released a landmark report on May 22, 2018, which reflects new data on the state of chronic disease in Ontario and provides concrete policy recommendations for the next provincial government.
The report found that chronic disease is now the leading cause of disability and death in the province, accounting for nearly 80 percent of all deaths. As Ontario’s population increases and ages, the prevalence of chronic disease is expected to increase, and the financial costs associated with caring for these diseases are expected to rise.
Health care costs in Ontario are projected to account for 70 percent of the provincial budget by 2022 and 80 percent by 2030, so reducing health care costs by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention will be more important than ever.
In its report, the OCDPA recommends the creation of: 1) a comprehensive chronic disease prevention strategy; 2) a chronic disease prevention council to provide advice to government; and, 3) an inter-ministerial council to plan and coordinate actions and investments for a “health-in-all-policies” approach across government.
Moreover, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term care spends only 2 percent of Ontario’s $54 billion-dollar health care budget on prevention, health promotion, and public health.
For this reason, the OCDPA is calling on all political parties to commit to a 0.5 percent increase in funding to support a comprehensive chronic disease prevention strategy.
For more information on the current state of chronic disease in Ontario, and to read the full OCDPA report, please visit the OCDPA website.
As an active member of the OCDPA, CMHA Ontario recognizes the importance of prevention and health promotion in tackling the problem of chronic disease, including chronic mental health issues. CMHA Ontario recognizes the need for a chronic disease prevention strategy in Ontario, and supports the recommendations of the OCDPA report.