Chamber : Leverage the private sector to put patients first


The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC), in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has released a new report, Prescription for Partnership, which points to the need for health care stakeholders, both public and private, to put patients first. This report takes a closer look at the role commissioning can play in re-orienting a system that too often operates in response to budgetary pressure. Commissioning allows public and private sector perspectives to be in conversation much earlier in the decision-making process. The Chambers cite commissioning as a way of focusing our system on outcomes for patients rather than inputs from providers. This kind of collaboration is a key enabler of innovations in access, quality, and cost.

“The provincial government needs to work with the private sector in order to meet its goal of putting patients first,” said SSMCOC President, Monica Dale. “We need the public and private sectors to problem-solve together and leverage one another’s expertise throughout the decision making process.”

The private sector has long been an active participant in Ontario’s health care system. In fact, the level of private sector involvement in Canadian health care is slightly above the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average – 12th highest overall, and greater than 22 other countries in the OECD. However, the current relationship between the public sector and private health vendors (both for-profit and non-profit) lacks a co-operative structure and culture.

“Today, the public sector is largely making decisions based on strict budgets and inflexible guidelines,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. “We cannot allow patient needs to continue to finish second.”

Prescription for Partnership: How New Models of Collaboration in Health Care Can Make Outcomes a Priority is the second of five reports within the OCC’s year-long Health Transformation Initiative. Visit for more information.