Health Policy Priorities 3

Access to Care for All Northern Ontarians as a Means to Optimizing Health

June 30, 2015 | Emily Donato and John MacDonald

Compared to provincial averages, people living in Northern Ontario continue to experience disproportionate rates of ill-health. A new briefing note released by Northern Policy Institute examines the root causes contributing to high rates of ill-health in Northern Ontario and identifies the top three health priorities for the region. The briefing note, Access to Care for All Northern Ontarians as a Means to Optimizing Health, was prepared by Emily Donato and John MacDonald of the School of Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University.

According to Donato and MacDonald, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) reports that residents of Northern Ontario are 26 percent more likely to experience premature death, creating lower life expectancies for men and women across the region. There are also higher rates of cardiovascular and circulatory diseases such as strokes, cancer, neurocognitive disease, and less access to a regular physician.

The authors conclude that healthcare resources and access should focus on the unique patient populations in the north, including First Nations’ care, seniors’ care, and mental health and addictions care.


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