Ontario’s doctors connect with MPPs, mayors and city councillors from across the province
The Association of Municipalities of Ontario annual conference gives local concerns centre stage
By Matt McNama, OMA’s Public Affairs Department
As part of its commitment to engage with community leaders, the Ontario Medical Association once again met with mayors and local councillors from across Ontario at the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference.
The annual event brings together more than 1,200 elected officials to talk about local issues, including health care. This year’s conference took place last month in Windsor.
The event is an important opportunity for Ontario’s doctors to meet face-to-face with AMO delegates to get a better understanding of the challenges their residents face when they need to access the health-care system. It also offered an opportunity to discuss what it takes to make patient care a bigger priority in all communities, with Ontario’s doctors offering assistance in how to make that happen.
During the conference, Dr. Albert Ng, a board director for the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and Dr. Albert Schumacher, OMA past-president, met with 15 municipalities to listen to local health care concerns. Mayor Don McGugan of Brooke-Alvinston found the meeting to be a perfect opportunity to share ideas about improving the lives of people in his community.
“We need to have more information about health promotion and prevention in our town,” said Mayor McGugan, who has served as mayor of the small southwestern Ontario community for 14 years. “Meeting with Dr. Ng gave us the chance to talk about how local governments and associations like the OMA can work together to make that a reality.”
In addition to hosting meetings, Dr. Albert Schumacher spoke at a luncheon for officials from rural communities in Ontario. Dr. Schumacher discussed the importance of elected officials getting to know doctors in their community and how that can improve patient care.
Local Windsor-area doctors and medical students also connected with AMO delegates at a reception, which included numerous municipal leaders – as well as MPPs, including leader of the Ontario NDP Andrea Horwath.
Hundreds of AMO delegates also joined the OMA on the exhibition floor, stopping by the OMA booth to chat about what care looks like in their communities, and the challenges they face to meet the needs of a growing and aging population.