Premier's Council on Improving Health Care and Ending Hallway Medicine Releases Second Report

On June 25, 2019, the Premier's Council on Improving Health Care and Ending Hallway Medicine released it's second report, A Healthy Ontario:  Building a Sustainable Health Care System which provides advice on how to build a modern, sustainable and integrated health care system and solve the problem of hallway medicine.  This is the second report of the Council which was established in February 2019 with a mandate to provide advice on strategic priorities and actions leading to:

  • improved health and wellness outcomes for Ontarians
  • higher patient satisfaction
  • more efficient use of taxpayers’ dollars
  • lower wait times
​The Council’s first report, Hallway Health Care:  A System Under Strain, identified emerging themes and opportunities for ending hallway health care, such as integrating care around patients, innovating in care delivery, finding more alignment and efficiency across system goals, and planning for long-term capacity needs. Since the release of its first report, the Premier’s Council has conducted 10 regional engagement sessions in communities across the province and has heard from hundreds of individuals through its public email account.   

The Council's second report addresses 10 recommendations under 4 key themes:

  1. Put patients at the centre of their health care. Patients should be well-supported and treated with dignity and respect throughout all interactions with the health care system.
  2. Improve patients’ and providers’ ability to navigate the health care system, simplify the process of accessing and providing care in the community, and improve digital access to personal health information.
  3. Support patients and providers at every step of a health care journey by ensuring effective primary care is the foundation of an integrated health care system.
  1. Improve options for health care delivery, including increasing the availability and use of a variety of virtual care options.
  2. Modernize the home care sector and provide better alternatives in the community for patients who require a flexible mix of health care and other supports.
Efficiency & Alignment
  1. Data should be strategically designed, open and transparent, and actively used throughout the health care system to drive greater accountability and to improve health outcomes.
  2. Ensure Ontarians receive coordinated support by strengthening partnerships between health and social services, which are known to impact determinants of health.
  3. As the health care system transforms, design financial incentives to promote improved health outcomes for patients, population health for communities, and increased value for taxpayers. 
  1. Address short- and long-term capacity pressures including wait times for specialist and community care by maximizing existing assets and skills and making strategic new investments. Build the appropriate health care system for the future.
  2. Champion collaborative and interprofessional leadership development focused on system modernization capabilities.

Read full report - A Healthy Ontario:  Building a Sustainable Health System.

Implications for Occupational Therapists

Ontario occupational therapists work across the breadth of the province's publicly funded health care system - from primary care to long-term care.  Occupational therapists observe and experience the challenges of a system that is not working efficiently nor structured to facilitate best outcomes.  The Council's recommendations should be of keen interest to OSOT members.  The Report builds on policy directions announced by government to more fully integrate the healh care system through the introducation of Ontario Health and Ontario Health Teams.  OSOT has long advocated for more integrated health care services and has articulated support for the goals of the proposed system transformation.

The Report highlights good exemplars of innovation, opportunities for integration, etc. that will be of interest to OTs including, but not limited to:

  • Shared electronic health records across sectors
  • structured psychotherapy programs
  • PODS - Patient oriented discharge summaries
  • interprofessional primary care
  • care coordination across the continuum of care not just in home care
  • non-urgent interprofessional EMS services
  • bundled care
  • support to health workforce leadership development

OSOT encourages members to read the full report - A Healthy Ontario:  Building a Sustainable Health System

The Council continues to consult with Ontarians and health care providers and encourages continued participation in their advisory process by emailing the Premier's Council with any feedback on how to improve health care in Ontario.  The Council can be reached at  OSOT will appreciate being copied on any submission you may....or support our ongoing submissions by sending input to