Ontario’s Government for the People to Break Down Barriers to Better Patient Care in Durham Region

PICKERING, ON — Ontario’s Government for the People has announced the province’s long-term plan to fix and strengthen the public health care system by focusing directly on the needs of patients and families in Durham Region and across the province. 

Today, Durham Region MPPs Peter Bethlenfalvy (Pickering-Uxbridge), Rod Phillips (Ajax), and Lorne Coe (Whitby) met with frontline care providers at Carea Community Health Centre to discuss the province’s plan to create a renewed, connected and sustainable healthcare system. The MPPs met with representatives from Carea CHC, the Central East Local Integrated Network, Lakeridge Health and Ontario Shores. 

“Our government is taking a comprehensive, pragmatic approach to addressing the public health care system,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge. “By relentlessly focusing on patient experience, and on better connected care, we will reduce wait times and end hallway health care. The people of Pickering-Uxbridge can be confident that there will be a sustainable health care system for them when and where they need it.” 

“Carea is a recognized leader in redefining the experience of community-based health and wellness services in Durham Region. I look forward to collaborating with Carea’s staff and Board of Directors in creating a connected health care system that puts the needs of Region of Durham patients first,” said Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby 

Ontario’s new plan would improve access to services and patient experience by: 

  • Organizing health care providers to work as one coordinated team, focused on patients and specific local needs. Patients would experience easy transitions from one health provider to another (for example, between hospitals and home care providers, with one patient story, one patient record and one care plan).
  • Providing patients, families and caregivers help in navigating the public health care system, 24/7. 
  • Integrating multiple provincial agencies and specialized provincial programs into a single agency to provide a central point of accountability and oversight for the health care system. This would improve clinical guidance and support for providers and enable better quality care for patients. 
  • Improving access to secure digital tools, including online health records and virtual care options for patients – a 21st-century approach to health care.

Ontario’s renewed patient-centric approach is paired with historic investments in long-term care for seniors and improved mental health and addictions services for families. Ontario is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to establish a comprehensive and connected system for mental health and addictions treatment, and adding 15,000 new long-term care beds over five years and 30,000 beds over 10 years. 

“Durham Region is home to many of the thousands of Ontario’s committed health care providers who ensure that patients get the highest standard of care,” said Rod Phillips, MPP for Ajax. “The implementation of new Ontario Health Teams introduces positive solutions to start fixing our system, allowing patients to receive seamless and coordinated care – no matter that their health needs are or who provides their care.” 

“Carea has always had patients as the focus of our work and our success is a direct result of our network of partners in Durham Region for integrated primary care,” said Francis Garwe, Acting CEO of Carea CHC. “The plans announced by Minister Elliott are consistent with our patient focused approach.” 

“Lakeridge Health welcomes the opportunity to create a better-connected health care system focused on meeting the needs of the patients and families that we serve,” said Matthew Anderson, President & CEO. “We look forward to continuing our work with the Ontario Government, our partners and patients and families to build an integrated health system for everyone living and working in Durham Region for generations to come.” 

Quick Facts 

  • The government intends to introduce legislation that would, if passed, support the establishment of local Ontario Health Teams that connect health care providers and services around patients and families, and integrate multiple existing provincial agencies into a single health agency – Ontario Health. 
  • The entire process will be seamlessly phased in to ensure that Ontarians can continue to contact their health care providers as usual throughout the transition process. 
  • The government has consulted with patients, families, nurses, doctors and others who provide direct patient care, including the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine and its working groups, the Minister’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, and health system and academic experts. 
  • Ontario currently has a large network of provincial and regional agencies, clinical oversight bodies and 1,800 health service provider organizations. This creates confusion for both patients and providers trying to navigate the health care system. 

Additional Resources 



Hayden Kenez

Office of the Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy



Andrew Brander 

Office of the Hon. Rod Phillips 



Rob Morton 

Office of MPP Lorne Coe