Ontario Health Care is continuously under scrutiny for how the close to $50 Billion is spent providing for sick Ontarians. It is more apparent that preventative care and health education is needed to allow the money budgeted go to those that provide the care to the sick. A very quiet change took place in OHIP funding at the start of the year, with the news that the annual check up with your family doctor is no longer going to be free. It was so quiet that the Ontario Government chose NOT advertise the huge change in the same manner that we see countless TV ads for all day kindergarten to parents or commercials to students reminding them to apply for their Student tuition refund. Nope, no ads on what the the biggest change in how we stay healthy. Many may have seen this coming as more restrictions are placed on visits to a GP. One visit per ‘health concern’, no more having quality time with your doctor to talk about a few heath issues, the 30 minute appointment as we know it maybe history.
Doctors are very busy and in demand, yet many Ontarians do not have a family GP. There is a movement in the health care community to get to a preventative care system and not one of reactive health care. With the removal of annual physical exams as a ‘free service’ of OHIP, preventative care takes a hit. What makes this harder to take is that it was sneaked through by the Ontario Government, leaving many with a state of shock when faced with paying for something that is an important part of our health care system.
While I have not been able to locate what someone, between the ages of 18 and 64, would pay for the annual check up, if requested, current OHIP billing could suggest that clients could be billed the $77 that Doctors billed OHIP prior to the changes that took place January 1st.
Changes are required with our current health care system, Ontario must become patient centred not a bureaucratic system, to one where hospitals will get funding for all procedures and Doctors, Nurses and everyone associated with Ontario Health system can feel they are empowered to treat the person. The PC Party of Ontario has outlined Patient Centred Care and a route for a Healthier Ontario with new approaches that ensure all Ontarians receive care but we also plan for future care with knowledge, techniques and newer and better medication.
A healthier Ontario involves preventative care, not just reactive care. Reduced tiers of medical administration allows money to go to patient centred care and to hospitals and health hubs to provide the care that suit their patients. People of Ontario will benefit with greater funding to expanded home care, ‘closer to home’ community care and services that educate proper use of ER services for those that need it in an emergency, not hours after arriving in the ER.
For our dedicated Health Care providers to do the work they do, Ontario needs a government that will support and promote health care, not health scare.