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If you have something to say about health care in the North, the Ontario Medical Association wants to know

Medical association survey will help shape the future of health care in the North
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As the COVID-19 pandemic numbers seem to be winding down, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) is stepping up with a survey asking Northeastern Ontario residents for their opinions on health care.

The OMA said the new survey is being done to allow residents of Sudbury, Manitoulin, Parry Sound, Nipissing, Algoma, Timiskaming and Cochrane Districts to have their say in shaping the future of health care in this part of the province.

The survey is presented on a website, at Betterhealthcare.ca and the OMA said it will be used to help create recommendations for improving health services at the local level and across Ontario, as the province moves forward from the pandemic.

"The recommendations will address immediate health-care priorities as well as long-term care, the backlog of health-care services built up during the pandemic, access to mental health and other issues that have not had the attention the past 15 months or so has shown they deserved," said the OMA statement. 

The survey will also take into account that different areas of the province will have different needs.

“This is a huge province and health-care priorities here can be very different from those in other regions like Toronto,” said Dr. Stephen Cooper, Medical Director, Continuing Medical Education at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and chair of the local OMA District-9. 

“As we create a plan for the future of health care in Ontario, from the grassroots up, we are asking everyone across the province to provide their input to ensure local health care needs are considered.”

The OMA statement said doctors across the province have been meeting to discuss what changes might be needed to address day-to-day issues that emerged as they worked alongside nurses and health care workers during the pandemic and what to learn from those experiences.

“It starts with hearing from our patients, their families, friends and neighbours about their health-care priorities. Doctors are listening,” said Dr. Cooper. 

“It’s time to fix the cracks in the health-care system that COVID-19 has exposed here in Sudbury, the northeast, the surrounding area and across the province.  By completing the survey, we will help identify the first steps that need to be taken as the health-care system refocuses its efforts beyond the pandemic,” said Cooper. 

Over the next few months, the OMA said it will be consulting with the public, members, health-care stakeholders, community leaders, elected officials and government parties to inform its health-care recommendations. For more information and to complete the survey go to: Betterhealthcare.ca, said the OMA statement.