NDP bill could make Ontario’s top doctor independent

By Rosalind Russell – Frances Gelinas, Nickel Belt’s MPP and NDP health critic has brought forward a bill to make Ontario’s top doctor an independent officer of the legislature.

She says the recommendation came out of the SARS report adding at this time, the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is accountable to both the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and the Minister of Health.

She says Ontario is the only province where this is the case and if the bill passes, it would provide complete independence for the chief medical officer to share information directly with the public.

The Public Health Accountability Act would also allow for striking a select committee in the event of a public emergency which would provide a forum for elected officials to ask questions of and hear directly from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Photo: NDP Health critic and Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas says Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health should have more freedom and public accessibility, so she has presented a bill at Queen’s Park to amend the powers of that office. Photo provided by and used with permission of France Gelinas

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