Working together to change the health care system for people with spinal cord injuries.
In Ontario, if a person has a heart condition, there are defined processes and supports in place to ensure optimal health care. Similarly, for those who are diagnosed with cancer, each individual is guided by a health care 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.
At Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, we have been working with our community and the government to ensure that people with spinal cord injuries don't fall through the cracks of the health care system. Everyone should have access to doctors and other health care professionals. Everyone should receive the best health care available.
The government has put in place a relatively new health care act — the Patients First Act. Through various engagement strategies (a primary care summit, a survey, a panel discussion) we have listened to our community and want to take the following suggestions to the decision makers. Together, we want to ensure each and every Ontarian with a spinal cord injury has:
- Access to a primary care doctor who in turn has access to a doctor who understands spinal cord injury and can provide reliable support and the tools needed to provide proper health care.
- Access to a physiatrist linked with one of the five dedicated SCI Rehab Centres in Ontario.
- Access to a multi-professional team, which may include an attendant, a nurse, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, a respiratory therapist, and/or a wheelchair vendor to name a few.
- A connection to Spinal Cord Injury Ontario. We offer the community, the support and the services. We are a one-stop shop. When you need us we are here.
Spinal Cord Injury Ontario will take this plan to the government in the coming weeks. By all of us sticking together, and delivering to our government representative the same message, we will see this through. Change is often a lengthy journey down a long road. For now, we've listened and will deliver our community's message.