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Wednesday, 19 August 2015 00:00

What do you want in a Patient Ombudsperson?

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            The province is inviting Ontarions to tell it what skills, experience and personality traits they would like to see in the province’s first Patient Ombudsperson.

            You can go online at http://www.ontario.ca/page/help-recruit-ontarios-first-patient-ombudsman until Aug. 31 to identify the qualities you think are most important for the role. The province will use this information to guide its selection of Ontario’s first Patient Ombudsperson (let’s call her or him the OPO).

            The OPO will help patients and their caregivers who feel they have not had their concerns resolved through existing processes at hospitals, long-term care homes or community-care centres.

            Key functions of the ombudsperson will include:

  • Addressing unresolved complaints from hospital patients, long-term-care-home residents, community-care-access-centre clients, or their caregivers;
  • Investigating unresolved complaints against health organizations; and
  • Making follow-up recommendations to those organizations.

            The OPO will complement the work of existing organizations in the health system that handle complaints, including the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and the Health Services Appeal and Review Board. He or she will be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and housed in Health Quality Ontario.

            As of Sept. 1, all public hospitals will also have to have a staff member responsible for overseeing patient-relations.

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