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Monday, July 18, 2011

A Strategic plan for health care during provincial election season

This fall, as Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest Territories head to the polls for provincial elections, health care will undoubtedly be an important election issue across the board.

The Ontario Hospital Association and Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres jointly published a report in June to set the stage for health care dialogue leading up to Ontario’s election on October 6. 

The report,  Four Pillars: Recommendations for Achieving a High Performing Health System”, proposes a “dramatic health system reform” for Ontario based on four pillars:
1) Setting ambitious goals
2) Proper planning
3) Using evidence to drive care decisions
4) Connecting care
These four pillars are very similar to strategic plans, which consist of setting goals, establishing objectives and performance targets, evaluating performance against targets, and acting on the results of performance evaluation. 

The report acknowledges that although Ontario has set some goals for addressing provincial priorities (notably wait times in emergency departments and access to primary care), the missing piece is quantifiable performance targets. The report goes on to propose that the government develop a comprehensive health system strategic plan that includes objectives, timelines, change management exercises and quality and efficiency improvement measures to drive changes.  Suggestions hinging on the “Four Pillars” as to how this should be done are then provided.

This idea of setting strategic plans for health care is starting to take shape in some hospitals and provinces in Canada, and internationally some countries have established strategic plans for achieving national health goals through health system performance. This report is a timely piece on many fronts.

For further comment on the report, see OHA’s Tom Closson’s blog post.

Susan Brien, Policy Lead, Health Council of Canada

1 comment:

  1. setting strategic plans for health care in the provinces in Canada, and internationally some countries, I wish these will be be a successful one.