Leverage the Private Sector to Put Patients First: Chamber Report

BY mmarchand

Today the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce (WERCC), in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released its second in a series of reports on the Health Care Sector in Ontario.

The previous report, released in March 2016, indicated that 77% of Ontarians are concerned about the future of our health system and 80% agree that Ontario needs broad reform to meet the future.

This new report, Prescription for Partnership (click here to read the full report), points to the need for health care stakeholders, both public and private, to put patients first.

This report takes a closer look at the role commissioning can play in re-orienting a system that too often operates in response to budgetary pressure. Commissioning allows public and private sector perspectives to be in conversation much earlier in the decision-making process. The WERCC cites commissioning as a way of focusing our system on outcomes for patients rather than inputs from providers. This kind of collaboration is a key enabler of innovations in access, quality, and cost.

“The provincial government needs more collaboration with the private sector in order to meet its goal of putting patients first,” said Matt Marchand, WERCC President & CEO. “We need the public and private sectors to problem-solve together and leverage one another's expertise.”

“We have excellent leadership in our health care sector and at our two hospitals that can execute this, but are often limited by existing rules and often inflexible guidelines,” added Marchand.

“From the Windsor-Essex region perspective, if we want to maximize the opportunity of the new Mega Hospital, including the potential to drive research and innovation, we’re going to have to continue building a culture of private sector participation. This could open up a larger opportunity to collaborate with the health care sector in Michigan and beyond,” said Marchand.

The private sector has long been an active participant in Ontario’s health care system. In fact, the level of private sector involvement in Canadian health care is slightly above the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average – 12th highest overall, and greater than 22 other countries in the OECD. However, the current relationship between the public sector and private health vendors (both for-profit and non-profit) lacks a co-operative structure and culture.

Prescription for Partnership: How New Models of Collaboration in Health Care Can Make Outcomes a Priority is the second of five reports within the OCC’s year-long Health Transformation Initiative. Visit www.transformhealth.ca for more information.