Thursday, December 30, 2010

The McGuinty Government Fails Ontarians With Mental Health Issues...

Could it possibly be yet another failure by our Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's Government?  This latest one is yet another Health Care related fiasco, and this one involves Ontarians with Mental Health issues.

Here's the story from the Toronto Star:

Ontario mental health system faces overhaul
Ontario is going to change the way its “fractured” $3 billion mental health system works so that people get steered to the help they need, Health Minister Deb Matthews said Wednesday.

Her comments followed a report from an expert advisory panel slamming the bureaucratic maze of agencies and government ministries offering a patchwork of services that often reach people too late — after they’ve had a breakdown or ended up in jail.

The result is that the justice system and hospital emergency rooms get swamped with cases that could have been dealt with more effectively — and at less cost to taxpayers — in community programs.

“The current way of organizing and delivering services is failing Ontarians,” said the report by a panel of 21 front-line mental health experts, including Dr. Rajiv Bhatla, chief of psychiatry at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group.

Matthews said the criticism is on the mark when it comes to people who are overwhelmed while coping with mental illness or addictions — as one in five Ontarians will in their lifetimes.

The 48-page report called “Respect, Recovery, Resilience” contained dozens of recommendations, such as integrating service to make better use of existing resources and intervening early at the first sign of mental illness, addiction or gambling problems.

Ontario now spends about $3 billion a year on mental health programs plus another $2.3 billion in related law-enforcement services — in addition to the $2 billion a year the private sector spends on disability claims and employee assistance programs for workers with mental health and addiction trouble.

The report also found Ontario spends more per capita on hospital and physician services on mental health and addictions than other provinces, “but this heavy investment . . . has not resulted in a measurable improvement.”

Yet another $3 Billion McGuinty-Governed program that is "fractured" and is "failing Ontarians"...


PS: If you would like to read the actual report, the PDF can be downloaded at the following link: Respect, Recovery, Resilience: Recommendations for Ontario's Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.

Screenshot taken from "Respect, Recovery, Resilience" Report on the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care - Ministry Reports Site


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