​​​​​Image of Minister Eric Hoskins
Minister Eric Hoskins announces the creation of the role of Patient Ombudsman for Ontario. (Photo: UHN)

Ontario is inviting people across the province to share their ideas on what skills, experience and personality traits they would like to see in the province's first Patient Ombudsman.

The Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, announced the creation of the new role at Toronto General Hospital's Peter and Melanie Munk Patient and Family Learning Centre and Library.

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The Patient Ombudsman will assist patients and their caregivers who have not had their concerns resolved through existing processes at hospitals, long-term care homes or community care access centres, Minister Hoskins said. To further strengthen the voice of patients in Ontario's health care system, he also announced improvements for the patient relations process in hospitals.

"The establishment of the first Patient Ombudsman is a big step forward in our patients-first approach to health care," Minister Hoskins said at Tuesday's announcement. "By hearing from patients directly about the qualities they want to see in their Patient Ombudsman, we can help ensure that the new Patient Ombudsman is the strongest possible representative for patients and their needs."

Image of Minister Eric Hoskins met with Sharon Rogers
Minister Eric Hoskins met with Sharon Rogers, Director of Patient Relations, and her team prior to the announcement to hear the experience of two patients who have benefitted from the Patient Relations department at UHN. (Photo: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care)

The Minister praised the work done by UHN's Patient Relations team led by Sharon Rogers, Director of Patient Relations and UHN's Ombudsman. UHN has had a Patient Relations department since 1993, and starting Sept.  1, 2015, it will be required that all Ontarians have access to patient relations support in all hospitals.

"The role of Patient Relations is to help patients in the moment and learn from each experience," Sharon says. "We're very happy to hear this announcement and we hope to continue to support the work of the Ministry and other hospitals in providing this vital service to all patients in Ontario."

Image of members of the Volunteer team
In lauding the work done by UHN in the area of Patient Relations since the department began in 1993, Minister Hoskins also acknowledged the efforts of members of the Volunteer team in attendance, some of whom are former patients. From L to R: Judy Yan, Jaime Thomas, Michael Harding, Lorraine Innocentin, Natalya Gurevych, Doddy Teng. (Photo: UHN)

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