Former deputy PC leader Christine Elliott named Ontario's first patient ombudsman

Former deputy Progressive Conservative leader Christine Elliott has been appointed Ontario's first patient ombudsman.

Job includes dealing with complaints from patients and their families

The Ontario government has named former Progressive Conservative deputy leader Christine Elliott the province's first patient ombudsman. (The Canadian Press)

Former deputy Progressive Conservative leader Christine Elliott has been appointed Ontario's first patient ombudsman.

Elliott will deal with complaints from patients and their families who have trouble navigating the health care system after she officially takes the post on July 1, 2016.

She will also issue annual reports on the government's programs such as trying to shift the emphasis from hospitals to home and community-based care.

However, unlike the auditor general, privacy commissioner and provincial ombudsman, the patient ombudsman won't be an independent officer of the legislature and will instead report to the minister of health.

Elliott, who had been the Tories' health critic before she resigned last summer after losing the PC leadership race to Patrick Brown, calls the new position "a dream job."

She says as patient ombudsman she will respond to unresolved complaints about hospitals, community care access centres and local health integration networks.

Premier Kathleen Wynne has not yet called a byelection in Whitby to replace Elliott, the widow of former federal and Ontario finance minister Jim Flaherty.

The Liberals, Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats all have nominated their candidates for the byelection, which Wynne must call by the end of February.

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