Canada weathered the most recent recession better than most nations with help from a robust banking sector, over a decade of budget surpluses, tax cuts implemented prior to the slowdown of world economies and later a government stimulus spending package. As October 6, 2011 approaches healthcare professionals and Ontarians alike have expressed that health care should be a key issue in the upcoming Ontario Provincial elections. A website where you can follow and learn about the ontario Provincial Elections can be found at: http://www.electionalmanac.com/canada/ontario|
The Ontario Medical association president Dr. Stewart Kennedy, says one of his goals is to expand the use of electronic medical records. Currently more than 7,000 doctors, who care for 6.5 million Ontarians manage their patients' health information with an electronic medical record. In an article by the Globe and Mail Kennedy also states that he hopes to make health care a key issue in the provincial election this fall.
The Ontario Medical Association has launched a $1-million radio, TV and print campaign to get health care issues onto the agenda of the 2011 provincial election. The campaign aimed at making health care a priority issue in this year's provincial election campaign which is called "Better care. Healthier Patients. A stronger Ontario" makes specific recommendations to improve health care in Ontario. You may have recently read or heard "In this fall's provincial election, there is no issue more important than health care." Over the last year the Canadian Medical Association has held six town hall meetings across the country with 1500 people attending, hosted a national dialogue on health-care transformation and about 4,000 comments were posted on the CMA's website in regard to national healthcare.
The Ontario Health Coalition has undertaken a social media campaign that attempts to identify the public's top health care issues and promote them leading into the provincial election, the Ontario Health coalition launched the www.votehealthontario.ca website that runs through three stages:
stage 1: The public had until early August to visit votehealthontario.ca and input their key health care issues/experiences (eg. Cancelled surgery or can't find family doctor). The issues were displayed on the website as people submitted them. This phase was crucial to the effectiveness and democratic nature of the Ontario Health Care Challenge.
stage 2: Throughout August, we invite Ontarians to vote for their priorities at votehealthontario.ca. The results will be tallied and priorities identified by the public will become an election pledge.
stage 3: In September the Coalition will ask Ontarians to take the challenge to help make their priorities the key health care election issues. They will be able to see how many people in each electoral riding have taken the challenge. If thousands of Ontarians join in, we can make sure that the political parties are compelled to make clear commitments on these issues leading into the election.
The OMA suggests the current health system is poorly equipped to deal with the mentally ill and the OMA also targets childhood obesity. The CMA and the OHC are in public outreach mode and Canadians are discussing private versus public health care as well as expressing a need for a healthy public policy and better health education and support for economically disadvantaged groups.