In the face of ‘tsunami’ of new mental health patients, Ontario Medical Association calls for more support


Reduce patient waiting times; expand mental health, addiction and home care services; and preparing for the next pandemic are among the top priorities of a group representing Ontario doctors.

The Ontario Medical Association outlined its recommendations for improving the province’s health care system in a new report released on Tuesday.

It also highlights the need to strengthen public health units and assign a linked team of health care providers to each patient.

The group calls on political parties to include its recommendations in their programs for the provincial elections next June.

He says tackling the pandemic backlog of services must be done while reducing the long-standing problem of patient wait times.

The report calls for adequate funding to address the backlog, ensuring services are fully staffed, educating people about healthy lifestyles, providing more services outside of hospitals and improving data collection.

To respond to the “tsunami of new patients” seeking mental health care, the report says there must be more affordable and publicly funded services in communities of people.

It recommends establishing provincial standards for mental health and addiction services, increasing funding for these services, providing mental health supports to health care workers, and increasing the number of drug use sites. supervised drugs.

It is recommended that more funds be invested in the recruitment and retention of home care, which the report says will save space in hospital beds and reduce wait times for other patients.

It also recommends ensuring that people without a family doctor have access to home care, cutting red tape and giving tax relief to families who employ full-time caregivers.

The medical association says the province should start preparing for the next pandemic by making it mandatory to have a provincial pandemic plan in place and by sending sufficient resources to Public Health Ontario and public health units.

A section of the report dedicated to specific concerns in northern Ontario was released earlier this week.

The medical group says it supports the first ministers’ calls for the federal government to increase the Canada health transfer to 35 percent of health care spending in the provinces and territories.

The medical association says it developed the report with input from physicians, health care organizations, community leaders and thousands of residents of Ontario.

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