The provincial government passed legislation aimed at improving access to and coordination of health services for Ontarians on Dec. 7. The Patients First Act is intended to create a more integrated system that provides better, more patient centred to care to clients of health care services.
CMHA Ontario has been working with branches across the province to provide feedback and input into the development of this act. Most recently, CMHA Ontario CEO Camille Quenneville and two CMHA branch representatives – Rebecca Shields from CMHA York South Simcoe and David Smith from CMHA Peel Dufferin – were heard by the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly. They provided feedback on the act to the committee charged with reviewing Bill 41 (Patients First Act, 2016) and discussed how it would impact the community mental health and addictions sector.
In March 2016, CMHA Ontario also provided a formal submission to Patients First: A proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Health Care in Ontario, which was a call to health service providers across the province asking them to provide input into how health care services can be better integrated for Ontarians.
Once implemented, the Patient First Act will improve access to primary care, enhance connections between health care services across different sectors (e.g. primary care providers, hospitals, community mental health and addictions) and increase efforts to ensure cultural appropriate services can be provided to all Ontarians. For more information on the Patients First Act, please visit the Ontario government website.