Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Letters to the Editor...Ontario health minister rebuts MPP's column
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 21 Jun 2006, p. 6

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Ontario health minister rebuts MPP's column

Dear editor: I was surprised to read Halton MPP Ted Chudleigh's recent column which appeared in your newspaper on June 14. It's particularly odd to hear this Conservative MPP's take on our government's wait time strategy, when the government in which he served did not release any information at all on wait times. In fact, the previous government didn't even take the trouble to compile this vital information. We are of the view that Ontarians deserve accurate, timely information on wait times. And we've taken steps to make this possible through our wait times website, which can be found at www.ontariowaittimes.com. This website-- which recently registered its 1,000,000th hit-- provides information on wait times broken down by hospital, by procedure and by Local Health Integration Network. It's a vital tool for doctors, for patients and for their families. Those who consult our website will find that it also breaks down wait time using average waits, median waits, AND "90% completed within" times. Further, it provides information on actual, scientifically-based, common national benchmarks, as well as Ontario's more aggressive wait time targets. The data on our website, collected from hospitals across the province, is also tremendously valuable for those of us who are working to improve health care in Ontario. When problems or bottlenecks or identified, it allows us to take quick action to correct them -- which is exactly what we're doing. All in all, the results of our wait times strategy are tremendously encouraging. Wait times are down, for every procedure, in virtually every part of the province. In total, more than 3.3 million days of waiting time have been eliminated. The news on wait times is good, however we are not declaring victory. This government will continue to work hard to build on these results to the benefit of all Ontarians. George Smitherman Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

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21 Jun 2006
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Chudleigh, Ted ; Smitherman, George
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Letters to the Editor...Ontario health minister rebuts MPP's column