Frank Klees

Frankly Speaking

Health Care Public Forum

May 10, 2011

"I am worried the health care services I need, will not be there when I need them."

Aurora and Newmarket residents were asked if they agree or disagree with this statement in the survey delivered to their homes a few weeks ago.

Seven out of ten residents, who responded to that survey, said they agree.

Clearly, something about the experiences people are having with our health care system is causing this level of concern. And I can report to you, that this survey response is consistent with what I am hearing from constituents.

Complaints about lengthy waits at emergency rooms and the long wait times to access specialist and diagnostic services is on the increase. The state of mental health  services - especially children's mental health services - is approaching a crisis in our Region. And despite the best efforts of our health care professionals, I hear far too often about surgeries and medical treatments being delayed, leaving patients and their families to cope with the resulting anxiety and consequences.

Health Care Public Forum

In response to these concerns, I have scheduled a public meeting, specifically for the purpose of discussing health care issues and to give the community an opportunity to share their personal experiences  with our health care system. The objective is to identify where there are gaps in service and where we should be focusing our efforts to improve the quality of service. Anyone wanting to participate, will be given an opportunity to make a five-minute presentation.

I have also invited representatives from the various sectors of health care services to attend this meeting as observers. This will give them an opportunity to hear first-hand, how their particular sector is doing in meeting the needs of our community, where there are gaps in service and where the quality of service could be improved.

Invitations have been extended to Southlake Regional Health Centre, the Community Care Access Centre, the Central Local Health Integration Network, the Long Term Care Association, and others. Most have confirmed their attendance, and I am optimistic that this forum will have a very positive outcome for health care in our Region. 

Summary of Survey Results on Health Care

The Have Your Say survey that many of you took the time to fill out and return to my office, had three questions specifically relating to health care. I want to share those questions and the responses with you here:

1) A growing and aging population means Ontario's health care budget is increasing very quickly. To manage this growing fiscal pressure,the government should:

a) Reduce waste in the health care system: 43.6 %

b) Promote healthier lifestyles: 32.5 %

c) Reduce spending in other areas 16 %

d) Increase taxes : 1.8 %

e) Other 6.1 %

2) Who should have more authority and responsibility for Ontario’s health care system?

a) Health care professionals: 52.4 %

b) Patients: 25.6 %

c) Elected officials: 11.1 %

d) Government officials (administrators, civil servants): 10.9 %

3) When I am older and need support, I would prefer to be cared for:

a) At home : 64.3 %

b) In a retirement residence: 27 %

c) In a long term care facility: 6.4 %

d) In a hospital: 2.3 %

As I have shared with you previously, the purpose of the survey was to help me better understand the priorities of my constituents, and it is clear that health care  continues to be at the top of that priority list.

Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing the rest of the survey results with you, and I Iook forward to discussing how we can use that information to develope action plans in response to those survey results to make our community an even better place.

The Health Care Public Forum, scheduled for Tuesday May 17th at the Aurora Cultural Centre is one of those action plans, and I encourage you to participate. For more details, please call my constituency office at 905 750 0019 or contact me through my website at www.frank-klees.on.ca.

As always, I welcome your comments and advice.