MPPs Kramp, Smith and Clark hail Ontario’s new Health Plan for breaking down barriers to Better Patient Care

Renewed, connected and sustainable health care system will make patient-centred health care the new provincial standard

Eastern Ontario — February 26, 2019 —  The local health team approach announced by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long Term Care as the Government of Ontario’s long-term plan to fix and strengthen the public health care system has been warmly welcomed by regional MPPs.

The new local health teams will put the focus firmly on the needs of patients and their families, not the health system.  Ontarians will have the option to securely access digital health services, such as making online appointments, talking to a specialist virtually, and having secure access to one’s own electronic health records. The local health teams will also handle recruitment to ensure they have enough doctors, nurses, homecare workers and other health professionals to serve their area.

“I’m proud that our government is committed to building a health-care system that ensures patients and families in every community across Ontario have access to better and more integrated health care. By focusing on better connected care, we’ll reduce wait times and improve the patient experience,” said Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

“We have seen patients and families getting lost in the health care system, falling through the cracks and waiting way too long for care,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte.  “This is why we are building a public health care system centred around the patient – and redirecting funding to front-line services – where it belongs.”

"This is what local residents and medical professionals have been asking us for," said Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington.  "Our government consulted, we carefully listened to those giving and receiving care, and we have acted, putting patient care first."

“The people of Ontario deserve a connected health care system that puts their needs first,” said Elliott. “At the same time, the people of Ontario deserve peace of mind that this system is sustainable and accessible for all patients and their families, regardless of where you live, how much you make, or the kind of care you require.”

Ontario’s new plan will improve access to services and patient experience by:

  • Organizing health care providers to work as one coordinated team, focused on patients and specific local needs. Patients would experience easy transitions from one health provider to another (for example, between hospitals and home care providers, with one patient story, one patient record and one care plan).
  • Providing patients, families and caregivers help in navigating the public health care system, 24/7.
  • Integrating multiple provincial agencies and specialized provincial programs into a single agency to provide a central point of accountability and oversight for the health care system. This would improve clinical guidance and support for providers and enable better quality care for patients.
  • Improving access to secure digital tools, including online health records and virtual care options for patients – a 21st-century approach to health care.

“If we expect real improvements that patients will experience first-hand, we must better coordinate the public health care system, so it is organized around people’s needs and outcomes. This will enable local teams of health care providers to know and understand each patient’s needs and provide the appropriate, high-quality connected care Ontarians expect and deserve,” said Elliott.

Ontario’s renewed patient-centric approach is paired with historic investments in long-term care for seniors and improved mental health and addictions services for families. Ontario is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to establish a comprehensive and connected system for mental health and addictions treatment, and adding 15,000 new long-term care beds over five years and 30,000 beds over 10 years.

Quick Facts

  • The government intends to introduce legislation that would, if passed, support the establishment of local Ontario Health Teams that connect health care providers and services around patients and families, and integrate multiple existing provincial agencies into a single health agency – Ontario Health.
  • The entire process will be seamlessly phased in to ensure that Ontarians can continue to contact their health care providers as usual throughout the transition process.
  • The government has consulted with patients, families, nurses, doctors and others who provide direct patient care, including the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine and its working groups, the Minister’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, and health system and academic experts.
  • Ontario currently has a large network of provincial and regional agencies, clinical oversight bodies and 1,800 health service provider organizations. This creates confusion for both patients and providers trying to navigate the health care system.

Additional Resources

Ontario Takes Decisive Action to Help More Families with Autism

Will clear waitlist for autism services and provide direct financial supports for families of 23,000 children previously denied funding in Ontario Autism Program.

EASTERN ONTARIO – Ontario’s government for the people is bringing relief to 23,000 children and their families who are currently languishing on a waitlist for autism services.

In an announcement at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Parliamentary Assistant Amy Fee and Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod outlined the widespread reforms to the Ontario Autism Program that will restore fairness, equality, and sustainability to the program.

“The Ontario government invests $321 million dollars each year in autism supports that under the current system leave 3 out of 4 children behind,” said MacLeod. “I cannot in good conscience continue this Liberal plan that was more about politics than the people it should be supporting.”

“We are taking action to improve access to services and supports so more families of children and youth living with autism can receive fair and balanced service,” said Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

Under the government’s proposed reforms, the waitlist for funding will be cleared in 18 months, people will be treated with fairness and equality, the system will become more financially sustainable, make the system more accountable and to guarantee that supports are there for families with the greatest need, now and well into the future.

“Families have told us that the system is broken. They are waiting far too long to receive a diagnosis, and when they do get one, they have to wait for service. This is not acceptable and our government is taking action to fix this,” said Randy Hillier, MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston.

With the proposed changes, families may receive a Childhood Budget until their child turns 18. Supports will be targeted to lower and middle-income families. The amount of the budget will depend on the length of time a child will be in the program. For example, a child entering the program at age two would be eligible to receive up to $140,000, while a child entering the program at age seven would receive up to $55,000. These changes will ensure that every child will receive assistance, rather than just 25% of families who currently receive support.

“Our government is committed to helping families receive critical supports and services faster, and not having children and youth wait for years before getting help,” said Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington.

“Autism hits close to home for every community across our province and ours is no exception. Our government’s plan ensures that no families will have to wait over two years to receive support for their children again,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte.


  • To be eligible for the Ontario Autism Program, a child must have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder from a qualified professional. Families are eligible to apply for program funding for children and youth up to age 18.
  • Today, there are over 2,400 families waiting for a diagnostic assessment, and more than 23,000 families waiting for behavioral services through the Ontario Autism Program with demand continuing to grow.
  • Evidence shows that children who receive behavioral intervention therapies between two and five years of age have the best long-term outcomes.


Helping Families by Improving Access to Autism Services


Ontario’s Government for the People Announces Grants to Help Improve Transit in Communities Across the Province

Forty Ontario Communities to Receive Funding to Support Projects.

BAY OF QUINTE - MPP for Bay of Quinte, Todd Smith announced today that Prince Edward County will receive $500,000 and Quinte West will receive $303,135 of support through the Community Transportation Grant Program.

“This investment will improve the quality of life for many people in our communities that are currently underserved by transit. Whether it’s seniors, students or others, access to transit helps people get where they need to be and live active, independent lives,” said Smith.

Ontario’s Government for the People is helping 40 communities across the province improve transportation services within and between communities to make it easier for people to get around.

Through the program, the province will provide municipalities with $30 million over five years to support local transit and intercommunity bus service in areas with little or no public transit. Funding will be provided for 45 different projects in 40 communities.

The program will make it more convenient for Ontarians, including seniors, students, youths and persons with disabilities to access essential services in their communities, connect with other transportation services, and travel between cities and towns.


  • Up to $30 million in grants over five years will be awarded to municipalities to partner with community organizations, health agencies, transit agencies, school-bus and private transportation operators, to coordinate local transportation services and/or run intercommunity routes.
  • The new Community Transportation Grant Program builds on a successful pilot program that provided nearly $3 million in funding for 22 municipalities since 2015.
  • In the first year of the pilot program, more than 28,000 people used the new services to make more than 105,000 trips.



For more information contact:
Lacy Shunock [email protected]