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Health care transformation coming
Health care transformation coming
April 04, 2019

New modernization plan will offer better organization for health-care providers, writes McKenna

Click here to view the original article in the Burlington Post/Inside Halton.

I’m grateful to live in a province where the health-care providers are best-in-class and health care is publicly available.

But as a parent and a patient, I know all too well what it’s like being bumped around from place to place. Often different health-care providers don’t talk to each other, so I have to fill out the same forms, tell the same story and get the same test done over and over again.

Finally, that’s about to change with the introduction of Ontario’s new modernization plan for health care. We will better organize all our health-care providers — like doctors, nurses, hospitals, physiotherapists, homecare support and long-term care — so they can work as one connected and co-ordinated team.

Our government is committed to putting patients, families and caregivers at the centre of our health-care system. Transition to a health team approach will be seamless and gradual, and will take place over the coming years. Once the new Ontario health teams are in place, health-care providers and organizations will have the support they need to develop better co-ordinated care.

An integrated approach will focus on the needs of the whole person. Patients will have someone to contact to help them navigate the system, to answer questions and to understand their unique situation.

Support for Joseph Brant Hospital

In August 2017, our community celebrated the opening of a new seven-storey Patient Tower at Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH), which included a new emergency department, new intensive care unit, an expanded cancer clinic, expanded medical, surgical and outpatient services, nine new and improved operating rooms and additional in-patient beds. The new Patient Tower also nearly doubled the hospital’s size to approximately 800,000 square feet.

When the master plan for JBH was developed several years ago, it was always planned for the hospital to be rebuilt in two separate phases. Although the first phase is nearly complete, the previous government did not allocate funding to Phase 2 of our hospital’s redevelopment.

Phase 2 would replace the original outdated facilities with a completely new North Tower. In-patient units would be upgraded, including our complex care, rehabilitation, palliative care, transitional care, labour and delivery, medical and surgical in-patient beds. Ambulatory care clinics will be expanded, along with other clinical and support services for our community.

I know how important JBH is to our community. I’ve heard from Burlington residents, and have experienced first-hand the significant improvements in local health care as a result of the new Patient Tower. The generosity of donors, the dedication of hospital staff, physicians and professional teams, and the commitment from the municipal and provincial government made Phase 1 possible. This partnership is critical to meeting JBH’s goal of getting shovels in the ground for Phase 2 as early as 2025-26.

The people of Burlington will not settle for a half-finished hospital. With my leadership, JBH will work with our provincial government, our local government and our community partners to make Phase 2 a reality.

We want to hear from you. Please take our general survey by visiting share.janemckennampp.ca/yoursay.

Jane McKenna is the MPP for Burlington.

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