Forty key healthcare stakeholders, including union leaders, government representatives and healthcare providers, were invited to participate in a recent think tank and learned that the public is generally unaware of the problems facing the healthcare sector with respect to funding.

“HOOPP represents more than 250,000 working and retired healthcare workers in Ontario,” says John Crocker, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan’s (HOOPP), president and CEO. “For that reason, we are taking an active role in the discussion about healthcare’s future. We believe three things—that Ontarians benefit tremendously from our universal healthcare system, that the views of the public need to be a critical input in healthcare policy making and that any reforms need to happen through societal consensus, rather than edict.”

Here are the key findings.

  • Few Ontarians believe that government spends too much on healthcare and even fewer think it should reduce its spending on healthcare.
  • Providing healthcare is seen as the most important thing government does, and Ontarians want it put above other spending priorities.
  • If government has to cut spending, they want healthcare protected from those cuts as much as possible. If there is money to invest, Ontarians want the government to put those funds into the healthcare system.
  • Ontarians are open to systemic reforms to the system that preserve quality at lower cost, but not to lower cost that undercuts quality. There is an openness to a range of ideas from how administration of the system is organized to how doctors are compensated, and even another crack at electronic records.

A summary has been shared with the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care of the solutions generated during the think tank and calls for the creation of an “honest broker” to help facilitate a dialogue around healthcare, recommendations for further healthcare integration and the public opinion research findings.

It recommends that this “honest broker” be formed by the government to act as a champion for the system and to lead the dialogue between citizens and the government to build awareness of problems and solutions. This group would ideally evolve into a permanent healthcare research institute.

Read the full communiqué and get the full think tank research.

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