More than 45 per cent of Ontario taxpayer dollars are used to support health care delivery across the province.
So, it only makes sense to engage the public in how health care is provided at the local level, says Gary Chalk, director of public affairs with the Brant Community Healthcare System.
“We appreciate that the public has concerns over accessing health care,” Chalk said during a presentation at the Brantford General Hospital on Thursday. “Change is not an option – change is mandatory and we have to do it.”
The BCHSYS is seeking input from the public as the organization prepares to renew its strategic plan in order to use its $150 million annual budget for the BGH and Willett more efficiently.
Brantford and County of Brant residents are invited to complete an online survey called “join the conversation” to share ideas and express concerns before Oct. 29. The public is also invited to the Brantford General Hospital’s main entrance between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week to share ideas in person.
“This will allow us to see how well we are balancing things,” said Sarah McVanel-Viney, manager of organizational development with the BCHSYS. “We are engaging the people using our services more than ever before. We need to be asking about the patient experience and we are finding opportunities to do things differently.”
McVanel-Viney said the organization is seeking to strike a more even balance in several categories under review.
Finding middle ground between continuity and change, as well as quality and cost, will be a priority as the organization gathers public input.
“The question is: how do we best meet the needs of the community and match them with the needs of our organization?” McVanel-Viney said. “Every organization can improve.”
Chalk said long wait times for treatment and procedures continue to top the list of public concerns about health care delivery.
“That can be improved by educating people about when or for what they should come to the emergency department, their family doctor or a clinic,” Chalk said.
The online survey can be completed at www.bchsys.org. To obtain a hard copy survey, call 519-751-5544 ext. 2201.