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How will Doug Ford change the healthcare system? Here are a few answers.



Increasing the number of beds in the Ontario health care system alone will not solve the problem of overcrowding in hospitals, the report says, which will determine health care reform by Prime Minister Doug Ford.

The report came from the Prime Minister's Council for the Advancement of Health and the final hallway medicine, hand-picked by a group of 11 senior health administrators, led by a close ally of Ford.

The council is empowered to advise Ford and Christina Elliott, the Minister of Health of Ontario, to reduce waiting times at the hospital, stop the so-called “corridor medicine” and make long-term structural changes to the health care system.

A report released Thursday morning also states that too many patients go to emergency rooms in hospitals to treat conditions that could be treated elsewhere.

Although the report states that in the province "the necessary number of hospital or long-term beds may not be enough to meet the health needs of the population", it does not mention an increase in the number of beds.

“Simply adding more hospital or long-term beds to the system will not solve the public health problem in the hallway in Ontario,” the document says on 32 pages.

Dr. Ruben Devlin is the former general manager of Humber River Hospital, the former president of the PC Party in Ontario and a close representative of Ford. He was appointed special adviser to the prime minister for health on the day Ford came to power. (Algonquin College / Twitter)

It says that hospitals do not use existing beds as efficiently as possible, and it says that “insufficient capacity” in home care and mental health at the community level is a decisive factor.

“There are people in the provinces who spend time in hospital beds because they do not have access to other health care opportunities,” the report says.

"Visiting the emergency room that can be provided elsewhere often happens in Ontario, sometimes because it is the only health facility that is open around the clock."

Despite the fact that the council determines the causes of overcrowding in hospitals, it still does not give specific recommendations for change. They should appear in the next report, which should appear in the spring.

This is a safe bet that the Ford government will take his advice. The council is headed by Dr. Ruben Devlin, the longtime CEO of Humber River Hospital, the former president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, and a Ford trustee. He was appointed to this position on the day that the Ford government came to power last June.

“He offers very useful ideas,” Elliot told a news conference on Wednesday.

The report states that the lack of mental health services at the local level is partly to blame for the burden on hospitals.

“The Board is concerned that patients cannot access mental health and drug abuse services when they are most needed,” it says.

“The long waiting time for social treatment means that sometimes the condition of patients worsens when they sit in a line, and they have no choice but to seek help from the emergency department.”

Devlin is a strong advocate for more efficient use of technology to improve the health care system. (Martin Traynor / CBC)

Devlin has already publicly given firm hints about where he is going with his recommendations for reform.

“We know there are problems with the health care system, but how can we fix this?” Devlin spoke to an audience at Algonquin College in a speech in late November. "People say:" You can not make the system better, improve the quality and at the same time save money. It is not true."

The biggest problem facing the Devlin group – and the Ford government – is the problem of overcrowding in hospitals.

Employment is unsustainable, Devlin said in his November speech. He pointed to the forecasts of the Ministry of Health for the capacity of hospitals, suggesting that by 2028 the province will require another 8,000 hospital beds, but only 1,700 are planned.

“Are we going to build 6,300 beds for patients with the corresponding capital costs and operating costs, or will we provide another type of medical care?” Devlin asked.

“We need to see where patients can be treated. If we are going to solve some of the problems of medicine in the corridor, how can we make patients go to their primary care points and not appear in the emergency room? ”

Devlin also wonders if it would be wise to provide 41,000 additional places for long-term care that are needed to meet the needs of the Ministry of Health.

“Are we really going to institutionalize our senior citizens?” Devlin said in November, describing long-term care homes as the final option. “We want to provide care to people in society, at home, and wherever they can get it, outside institutions.”

Numerous sources have reported to CBC News that the Ford government intends to disband the local healthcare integration networks (LHIN) as part of the pending health care reform. (sashirin pamay / Shutterstock)

Devlin wants to change the design of services to be patient and family oriented

“We get a lot of feedback that navigation in the system is difficult,” he said. “If we need to contact a family member to get long-term treatment, it’s difficult. If I need to take my loved one for cancer treatment, it is difficult. ”

Devlin has a vision of what he calls the "Ontario Team" for the health care system. “No matter where you are, we will take care of you. One number to call, one web site, someone who will navigate the system and improve it for you. In my opinion, this is where we should be today. "

Using technology to improve the system is another key topic in the Devlin approach. He suggests that the emergency departments of the hospital will be able to get the entire medical history of a new patient by reading their Ontario health insurance card (OHIP).

He portrays a provincial digital health care command center and extolles the possibilities of virtual care, such as a patient who checks blood pressure at home, and the results that are transmitted via the Internet to his doctor.

Devlin told the audience at Algonquin College that some healthcare management organizations in the United States provide almost half of medical care.

Ford vows to listen to doctors, nurses and other front-line health workers when he is about to reform the system. “There is nothing worse than a bunch of politicians who speak to progressive people, be it education, be it healthcare, how to do their job,” said Ford. (Samantha Kraggs / CBC)

Devlin wants "the ministry of health and organizational structure to be flexible and efficient." He said that this would require "a bit of organizational change."

He made a statement before CBC News reported that, according to several sources, the Ford government intends to disband local health integration networks (LHIN).

He said that he set the task for his team as follows: “What is the future of healthcare? How will we provide medical care in 20 and 30 years? ”

At a press conference on Wednesday, Ford announced that his government is focused on hearing from doctors, nurses and other medical professionals at the forefront.

“We ask their ideas, and our job is to look at these ideas and then implement them,” said Ford during an announcement at the Center for Addictions and Mental Health in Toronto.

"There is nothing worse than a bunch of politicians talking to people at the forefront, whether it is education, whether it is healthcare, how to do their job when they do it day-to-day."


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