Friday, December 24, 2010

Ontario's doctors welcome report on mental health

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A December 23rd media release from the Ontario Medical Association:
Ontario's doctors welcome the government's release of Respect, Recovery, Resilience: Recommendations for Ontario's Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, and look forward to reviewing the report in detail. The Expert Advisory Panel and the All-Party Select Committee are to be commended for the extensive work and consultation process that has been undertaken in order to develop a broad range of recommendations. Ontario's doctors are eager to get down to business with a comprehensive plan to help patients access the care they need and deserve.

"Patients with mental illness or addictions and their families have been calling for improvements for far too long," said Dr. Mark MacLeod, President of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA). "With a decade of research already completed, it's time to take action to ensure that patients have timely access to quality care."

The OMA shares many of the same concerns outlined in the report; the existing lack of service integration and access to appropriate treatment and counselling services need serious attention. More needs to be done to ensure there's a program in place to allow for a collaborative approach to coordinate their care.

"For patients living with mental illness and addiction, time is crucial. We have to identify and implement the best methods to reduce wait times for patients requiring specialized psychiatric care to ensure that they receive the care they so urgently need." Dr. Desi Brownstone, Chair, OMA Section of Psychiatry

"Patients deserve a coordinated effort to give them the opportunity to live fulfilling lives which goes beyond the boundaries of medicine. We need to do a better job of providing social supports such as housing and employment for our patients. This will go a long way in addressing the well-being of patients in Ontario. This is important for all patients, but particularly applies to patients with mental illness, where a collaborative approach within and beyond medicine will better meet their needs." Dr. Ross Male, Chair, OMA Section of General and Family Practice

"Children and young adults suffering from mental illness and addictions are falling through the cracks of the health care system. We need to ensure our children have timely access to the care they need which is close to home and coordinated by their community paediatrician, to help manage their illness and their lives. We need to work together to implement a strategy that addresses the gaps in patient care, that children and their families face every day." Dr. Hirotaka Yamashiro, Chair, Pediatrics Section, OMA

For further information:

Contact OMA Media Relations at 416-340-2862 or 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2862

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