UPDATE - April 2019
Success! The Allied Health Fund will continue!
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MHLTC) has heard OAMRS’ message that the fund is an essential support for OAMRS members to upgrade their skills.
OAMRS led the fight to reverse an earlier decision to stop the funding. This change of heart on the part of the government was due in large part to the messages and lobbying effort by OAMRS President & CEO (Greg Toffner) -- and you. Our members' comments/stories were very compelling, so we forwarded them to the government. We would like to thank all our members who helped.
It was only in January that OAMRS found out that the fund was in danger. Since then, we have led the lobby by:
- notifying other professions and organizing strategy meetings
- preparing drafts of the message that was sent to government
- briefing Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Christine Elliott’s advisers in person
- delivering our message to the politicians and public servants responsible for the decision
Thanks are also due to the Minister for listening to our message and reversing the earlier decision; this is not always easy when the government is attempting to cut costs.
This breakthrough shows what can be accomplished when everyone works together in a timely and coordinated way.
OAMRS will continue to work hard on behalf of our members to ensure:
- Long-term stability and continuation of the fund
- Sonographers gain access to the fund
OAMRS efforts to save the AHPDF
There is real reason to be concerned the AHPDF may be cut. OAMRS is leading the effort to save the fund. OAMRS called a meeting with the Allied Health Professional Development Fund (AHPDF) Steering committee and then led a second meeting with our other Allied Health Professional partners to discuss a joint lobbying strategy and finalize a plan. Two weeks ago, the group met and drafted a formal briefing note to be signed by all the parties and used by all parties to discuss with government about how important the fund is to our professionals and how it affects patients in Ontario.
Our government relations team has met with people inside and outside the government to raise awareness and influence saving the fund. To be clear, this is an uphill battle as many of the decisions surrounding the budget have already been made. Our efforts are ongoing and we won’t know the outcome until after the budget is announced in April.
Our partners in the lobbying effort include audiologists, speech language pathologists, dietitians, medical laboratory technologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and respiratory therapists who represent over 55,000 of Ontario’s front-line health care professionals.
If the fund is discontinued, we believe that our lobby efforts here will position us well to advocated for alternative funding to replace the AHPDF.
The issue: Continued funding for The Allied Health Professional Development Fund
As we understand it, the Ford Government’s agenda is to increase support for front-line health care workers. The AHPDF has been a valuable support for these workers in improving their ability to care for patients.
What does the fund do to support front-line health care workers?
The AHPDF is a HealthForceOntario initiative that reimburses fees for professional development activities that upgrade skills and enhance knowledge and leadership capacity among allied health professionals. In fiscal year 2017/2018, 6,380 workers were approved for grants, with an average reimbursement of $546. This represents a total of $3,482,370 in grant funding.
What needs to be done:
We must redefine the AHPDF as a front-line service. The fund does not tell people how to do their jobs or add to needless layers of government management; it simply encourages front-line workers to acquire better skills to treat patients.
What we’re doing to try and help:
- We have a brief – CLICK HERE
- Meeting with: government officials, public service, ministry and the politicians to help explain to them that the AHPDF is important to frontline professionals. We’re asking the membership to take a few minutes to understand this issue, and if you should meet your MPP out in the community be sure to bring up this issue.
- - If you let us know which MPP you met, we will be sure to send them a copy of the briefing note.