Patient Ombudsman’s Message

Welcome to Our New Website

 

It’s been almost a year since I stepped into the role of Patient Ombudsman, and even though the office wasn’t open to the public until July 4th, we began a series of consultations across the province with patients and caregivers in the spring which significantly informed the way we set up our office, our operations and our new website. As a result of these efforts, I’m happy to announce that Ontarians can now securely submit their complaints to my office online.

 

As your Patient Ombudsman, I seek fairness in health care, without taking sides, when we receive a complaint from a patient or a caregiver. Since July, we’ve received almost 900 individual complaints. Due to the nature of my work and because much of what I do involves vulnerable and marginalized people, I believe it is important to be as accessible and inclusive as possible. As such, I am committed to meeting people where they live to better understand local health care needs and priorities. I know these can vary greatly from community to community across the province.

 

Since opening the office, I have been travelling as much as possible to connect with patients, caregivers and health sector organizations which are defined as public hospitals, long-term care homes and Community Care Access Centres (CCACs). We know some confusion exists about our jurisdiction and, now that Bill 41, the Patients First Act has passed, I can reassure you my office will retain jurisdiction over the home care and long-term care home placement services that the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) take over from the CCACs. To continue building awareness of our services, I have set a target to visit each of the 14 LHIN regions by the end of the fiscal year (March 31, 2017). Please visit our website regularly for updates to see when I will be in your area.

 

In closing, I want to acknowledge the insightful contribution of the many patients and caregivers from across the province who told us they expect the office to act as a bridge, connecting and working together with patients, caregivers and health sector organizations to improve care and the patient experience. People also want us to act as a conduit to bring the patient voice to the attention of public policy and decision-makers. We have taken these expectations to heart. Our relationships are meant to be collaborative, not adversarial. By working together we will be more effective in trying to resolve individual complaints, make meaningful recommendations and drive positive change across Ontario’s health care system and ultimately ensure every experience leads to better care for everyone.

 

Thank you for visiting our website.

 

Sincerely,

Christine Elliott

 


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