Province to Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Quality and Accountability for Patients
Ontario is enhancing transparency, accountability and quality of care, with new legislation that would ensure that the province’s health system continues putting patients and their families first.
Today, Ontario intends to introduce the Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients Act, 2017, which would, if passed, introduce important changes to key pieces of legislation to strengthen oversight and safeguard the quality of care in the province.
Key highlights of the bill include:
- Making it mandatory for the medical industry, including pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, to disclose payments made to health care professionals and organizations, as well as other recipients. Payments would include meals and hospitality, travel associated expenses, and financial grants, and the public would be able to search this information in an online database.
- Strengthening Ontario’s quality and safety inspection program for long-term care homes with new enforcement tools, including financial penalties and new provincial offences for non-compliance.
- Enabling paramedics to provide appropriate, safe and effective care for patients who call 911 by transporting them to a non-hospital setting, such as a mental health facility, to better address their needs. This would allow those patients to receive more appropriate care closer to home and in the community, thereby improving ambulance service coverage and helping to address overcrowding in emergency departments.
- Permitting the regulation of recreational water facilities, like splash pads and wading pools, and personal service settings, including barber shops and nail salons, to help ensure Ontario’s high public health quality standards are met.
- Requiring operators of community health facilities and medical radiation devices (such as X-ray machines, CT scanners, ultrasound machines and MRIs) to obtain a licence and enhancing the enforcement tools available to inspectors, to improve patient safety.
- Strengthening the oversight of diagnostic medical sonographers (those who use ultrasound) by introducing new legislation that would cover the entirety of the medical radiation and imaging technology profession.
Ontario is increasing access to care, reducing wait times and improving the patient experience through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care and OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare – protecting health care today and into the future.
- Ontario would be the first Canadian province or territory to legislate mandatory disclosure of private sector payments to health professionals.
- Ontario’s health care budget will total $53.8 billion in 2017-18 — a 3.8 per cent increase from the previous year.
- The bill includes 10 pieces of legislation that demonstrate how Ontario is continuing to improve quality and accountability in the health care system.
“Our government continues taking action to make the health care system more efficient and more transparent for patients across the province. I am proud to introduce the Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients Bill whose proposed changes, if passed, will help Ontario’s health care system continue serving all Ontarians today and into the future.”
“GSK commends Minister Hoskins on both his commitment to transparency and the consultation he led in the formulation of this important policy. We look forward to reviewing the Legislation following introduction and continuing to work in collaboration with the Ontario government and our health care partners in the policy’s implementation.”
“Family Councils of Ontario (FCO) supports these new enforcement tools and will continue to work with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and other sector partners towards better care and safety for all residents living in long-term care homes. We applaud these improvements to the Long-Term Care Homes Act, as well as the transparency of the inspection process that FCO, families and residents have been working towards.”