In June 2017, as part of our Accessible Healthcare for All campaign, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario worked with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to reinstate a committee to provide strategic advice about serving people with physical disabilities. This is an important committee as the Ministry rolls out its Patients First Transformation Plan.
We believe that every person with a spinal cord injury in Ontario should have access to healthcare. There are plenty of barriers in the way... non-accessible doctor's offices; doctors who don't want to take on patients with complex healthcare needs; healthcare professionals who don't understand spinal cord injury, and lack of available services. Spinal Cord Injury Ontario is working with our community to remove barriers to healthcare for all of us. Please read our blog updates to see what is being done and how you can get involved.
Over the last month, we have had numerous discussions with the Ontario Government regarding our Accessible Healthcare Campaign. The government is listening and working with us to achieve our goals.What we learned quite quickly in our meetings, was that we need to build the plan together with the Ontario Government. Only then will the government understand what resources we need to support our community. So where do we start?
A meeting was held on March 31, 2017 with representatives from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). We shared our findings from the Summit and community engagement event (our webinar with the telehealth network and a live audience). Our goal was to begin further dialogue between the Ministry and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, the Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team, and other stakeholders wishing to advance research, care, and innovation in primary care for people with spinal cord injuries. Our presentation is attached.
In Ontario, if a person has a heart condition, there are defined processes and supports in place to ensure optimal healthcare. Similarly, for those who are diagnosed with cancer, each individual is guided by a healthcare team and goes through a process that defines the best treatment. So, what happens if you have a spinal cord injury? There is a clear road map for the first four months and then... well, it gets a little foggy after that. This needs to change, and together we can make it happen.
As a follow-up to the Summit, SCI Ontario held a webcast event on January 26, 2017 at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute - Lyndhurst Centre in Toronto, attended by 98 people either in-person, via live-stream webcast and/or teleconference. This event served as an opportunity to review key issues and solutions discussed at the Summit, hear community feedback and then to discuss plans for moving forward with a strategy for improving care for people with SCI that is aligned with the Patients First Act.