December 21, 2017 - Ontario has passed legislation to enhance transparency, accountability
and the quality of care across the health care sector, including greater oversight
of long-term care homes and pharmaceutical companies.
Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients Act, 2017 will ensure
that the province's health system continues to put patients and their families first
by making important changes to key pieces of legislation which strengthen oversight
and safeguard the quality of care in Ontario.
"As a nurse who has worked in emergency, critical care in pediatric wards in hospitals,
and in community home care, I am a persistent advocate for effective, efficient
and transparent health care services," said Kathryn McGarry, MPP Cambridge.
"With the passing of the Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients Bill,
we are improving safety for patients and communities across the province," McGarry
Key highlights include:
- Making Ontario the first province or territory in Canada to require the medical
industry, including pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, to disclose
payments made to health care professionals and organizations, as well as other recipients.
- 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
by providing timely on-scene care, and/or transportation to another facility that
best meets their needs. This will allow patients to receive more appropriate care
closer to home and in the community, improve ambulance service coverage and help
address overcrowding in emergency departments.
- Prohibiting the creation of new private hospitals in Ontario and enabling existing
private hospitals to be designated as community health facilities or other facilities
at a later date, so there is greater quality oversight through more detailed reporting
and consistency in delivering quality care.
- Ensuring that no person, other than a regulated health professional, shall sell,
offer for sale or provide eye tattooing or implantation of eye jewellery.
- 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.
- Strengthening the oversight of diagnostic medical sonographers (those who use ultrasound)
through new legislation that will cover the entirety of the medical radiation and
imaging technology profession.
- 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
- Strengthening the protection of seniors in Retirement Homes, through increased oversight
powers of the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA), while increasing overall
transparency, accountability and governance.
Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic
change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition
for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and
free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of Medicare
in a generation.
""Family Councils of Ontario (FCO) are very pleased to see the passage of Bill 160.
We support 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," said Lorraine Purdon, Executive
Director, Family Councils of Ontario.
"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,"
- Ontario is now 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.