Ontario is taking action to strengthen accountability, oversight and transparency at the province's air ambulance system — Ornge.
The government will introduce legislation to help restore public confidence in the system and take further measures to enhance patient safety.
The new performance agreement will increase accountability through:
- Mandatory approval by the Minister for any changes to Ornge's corporate structure, including sale of assets
- Strengthened conflict of interest provisions
- Increased audit and inspection powers by the Ministry
- Debt-control provisions to prevent debt increases without Ministry approval
- A new patient advocate and complaints process to ensure patient safety, like the one used in Ontario hospitals
- More detailed financial planning, monitoring, control and reporting obligations
- Enforce compliance to ensure public reporting of expenses and restrictions on meals, travel, hospitality, which all government agencies are required to adhere to
- Quality improvement provisions based on Excellent Care for All Act, including linking executive compensation to performance improvement targets in an annual quality plan.
Changes to the Ambulance Act would allow the government to:
- Appoint investigators or a supervisor when it is in the public interest to do so, similar to Ontario hospitals
- Appoint members to Ornge's board of directors
- Prescribe terms of the above-outlined performance agreement between the government and Ornge.
Today's announcement builds on steps already taken by the McGuinty government to improve oversight at Ornge including launching a forensic audit, appointing an interim President and CEO, installing a new Board of Directors, and winding down all for-profit entities.
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