Ontario health minister eyes 'system transformation' for health-care sector

Ontario's health minister says the province will address hospital overcrowding issues but any action must be done with an eye to fiscal restraint.

Christine Elliott says government will address overcrowding, but concerned about finances

Ontario's Progressive Conservative government will focus on dealing with hospital overcrowding, but is warning the province faces difficult financial times. (CBC)

Ontario's health minister says the province will address hospital overcrowding issues but any action must be done with an eye to fiscal restraint.

Christine Elliott made the comments today as she addressed a gathering of health-care executives organized by the Ontario Hospital Association.

Elliott said the government must address the problem, but acknowledged that Ontario faces "difficult financial times."

She said the health-care sector will have to find ways to operate more efficiently and that will require "system transformation."

Premier Doug Ford promised during the spring election to create 15,000 long-term care beds within five years, and 30,000 over the next 10 years to relieve pressure on hospitals.

The government has hired a former hospital CEO to head a new council tasked with finding ways to improve the health-care system.

"I am convinced the solution lies in system transformation, and building health-care delivery for the future," Elliott said. "Only a system-wide lens will help us plan successfully for how we will care for generations to come."

Elliott said the government is mindful it was elected with a mandate of fiscal responsibility.

"That means we are going to have to be innovative," she said.

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