May 2, 2022– With the start of the provincial election campaign, the Children’s Health Coalition (CHC) is calling on leaders and candidates of all political parties to make kids’ health across all sectors a priority by adopting the 100 Day #MakeKidsCount Commitment.
“Children and youth have had vital care delayed and have experienced devastating impacts. Delaying access to care will have lifelong effects on tens of thousands of children across the province and their families,” said Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). “The pandemic increased the pressure the children’s health care system is facing and has also shone a light on the immediate need for government support to enable system-wide improvements. We need action now.”
To #MakeKidsCount the Children’s Health Coalition wants the next government to commit to the following within the first 100 days in office:
- Invest $1 billion over four years in the Make Kids Count Action Plan.
- Convene a cross-sectoral children’s health summit with government, specialized children’s health care organizations, and health care providers to agree on principles for a long-term provincial Children’s Health Strategy.
- Develop and release Ontario’s first-ever Children’s Health Strategy.
“Every day matters in the life of a child when it comes to their health and development. Sadly, over the course of the pandemic we’ve seen surgeries and rehabilitation services get repeatedly cancelled, further delaying the care children need,” said Julia Hanigsberg, President and CEO of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. “A generation of children and youth is at risk of significant long-term health problems without immediate action.”
“Children need early interventions aligned with their developmental milestones to optimize physical, psychological, and social development,” said Alex Munter, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. “Missing key opportunities to assess, care, treat or rehabilitate a child severely impacts the life of that child.”
The Make Kids Count Action Plan is a solution for a children’s health system that is in need of care. Kids should be made a priority. Children’s health is not a partisan issue. The Coalition is asking candidates and leaders across the political spectrum to be committed to building an Ontario where children and youth have timely access to the care they need by implementing the Make Kids Count Action Plan.
“Today, only one in three kids receives community-based rehabilitation services within the clinical standard while the majority wait almost three years to access care. These numbers are significant; each patient is a child at risk of missing treatment during critical care windows.”
–Jennifer Churchill, CEO of Empowered Kids Ontario
“Kids across Ontario have taken the brunt of the pandemic, far too much has been asked of them. Now more than ever, it is imperative we have strong provincial support so that our children can access the timely care they critically need.”
–-Tatum Wilson, CEO of Children’s Mental Health Ontario
“Our kids have been waiting too long and the time for action is now. Our Children’s Health Coalition looks forward to collaborating with government to give our kids the investments they deserve and need.”
–Bruce Squires, President of McMaster Children’s Hospital and VP Women’s and Children’s Health at Hamilton Health Sciences.
About the Children’s Health Coalition: The Children’s Health Coalition is a collective of children’s health organizations made up of CHEO, Children’s Hospital – London Health Sciences Centre, Children’s Mental Health Ontario, Empowered Kids Ontario, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Kids Health Alliance, McMaster Children’s Hospital, and SickKids.
Nicole Helsberg for the Children’s Health Coalition