08/26/2009

Coming to a Crossroad: The Future of Long Term Care in Ontario. August, 2009.
Long Term Care is at a crossroad in Ontario. It is well known, that the changing demographics in our communities - what the Atkinson Foundation has referred to as Ontario “bracing for a grey wave” - will require greater resources and dynamic health services to respond to the needs associated with an aging population. And, while shifting demographics are certain to challenge the capacity of Ontario???s health services, emerging changes in health care governance and policy are poised to play a central role in determining the success of responsiveness to Ontario???s growing health care needs. A commitment to healthy and positive aging requires a partnership between Ontario???s municipal and provincial governments that builds on the strengths of each order of government and on the strengths and uniqueness of our local communities and its citizens.

The government???s shift to an integrated system of health service in Ontario, was recognized in 2004, by the then Minister of Health and Long Term Care, George Smitherman, as a transformation “...that must begin with a new way of thinking and behaving” and that this transformation would require a cultural change driven by a “genuine desire to rise above self interest” which would be leveraged through “building mature relationships”. It is fundamentally understood, that strong partnerships will drive the successful creation of communities that can meet the health care needs of its citizens.