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The following information has been compiled from publicly available sources. StratCom does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or the authenticity of the information and StratCom cannot be held liable for errors.

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Healthcare in Canada - June 1996

The DOCTOR'S HOSPITAL, TORONTO has announced major progress in the hospital's change-over to Ontario's first ambulatory care hospital. The Doctors Hospital has been planning and implementing conversion to ambulatory care over the past five years, gradually developing its capacity to safely meet its community's health needs without requiring admission to a hospital bed and will be fully transformed into Ontario's first ambulatory care facility within two years. The Doctors Hospital is also pursuing the greater challenge of full system integration; participating in discussions with Mount Sinai Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital and Toronto Hospital to arrive at a plan for a University Avenue Hospitals System that would see all four independent hospitals working together to serve their communities.

The INSTITUTE FOR CLINICAL EVALUATIVE SCIENCES (ICES) is an independent, non-profit research institute funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health has published its second ICES Practice Atlas: Patterns of Health Care in Ontario. The report indicates the Ontario health system has made improvements over the last few years, but additional, rapid changes are necessary to maintain high-quality, accessible and affordable health care in the province. "Hospitals in Ontario have dramatically changed the way they provide services, while treating the same number of patients they did a decade ago. In the past decade there has been a 25 percent decrease in average length of stay in Ontario hospitals, and in the past few years there was a 25 per cent increase in day surgery." While many hospitals in Ontario have instituted changes, complete transformation of the hospital system is needed. ``If hospitals are not rapidly restructured, it will negatively affect the quality and accessibility of Ontario's hospital services,'' says Dr. Naylor. For further information: Alison Steeves, Public Affairs, (416) 480-4040

B.C.'s MDS/Metro McNair Clinical Laboratories has officially opened one of the most advanced automated medical testing laboratory in North America. The automated system uses technology developed in partnership with AutoMed Corporation of Richmond. The opening provided an opportunity to showcase the ``family'' of MDS/Metro-McNair companies in British Columbia including: AutoMed Corporation, Ingram & Bell Inc., MDS Discovery Venture Management Inc., MDS Doncaster/BC Medequip - Vancouver and Victoria, MDS Paramedical Services, MDS/Metro-McNair Clinical Laboratories, Nordion International Inc. at TRIUMF, SCIEX: UBC Research Chair, Panlabs International of Seattle, Micrologix Biotech Inc., StressGen Biotechnologies Corp. The 50,000 square foot MDS/Metro-McNair laboratory will benefit more than 1.6 million British Columbia patients and 5000 physicians by providing higher quality, faster test information. The facility will be able to process eight million medical tests a year, which is double what they are able to do now.''

The OTTAWA CIVIC HOSPITAL and MDS Laboratory Services have signed a Letter of Intent to work toward the development of a joint venture for an integrated laboratory system for Ottawa-Carleton. Under the terms of the Letter of Intent, through the next several months, the Civic Hospital and MDS will work together to develop a proposal to establish an integrated laboratory service. The maximum benefit from an integrated laboratory service will be realized with full collaboration among all hospitals in the region. MDS is building on its various relationships in Ottawa, through its Laboratory Services Division with the Riverside Hospital, through Nordion International with the Civic and Queensway-Carleton Hospitals, and recently through MDS Health Ventures Capital Corp. and the Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund (CMDF), MDS has invested in a new research and development company, ApoptoGen Inc., created by CMDF in collaboration with the Canadian Genetic Diseases Network, the University of Ottawa and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.''

CARE PLANNING PARTNERS, Toronto has launched the CARE GUIDE Online! A free service for consumers, its an easy to use, comprehensive and informative Internet guide to care homes and in-home services in Ontario. It is accessible on the internet - http://www.thecareguide.com.

ONTARIO's Health Service Restructuring Commission is ready to start work in Metro Toronto. The commission was formed by the Ontario government to do two things. First, to make decisions about restructuring hospitals. This doesn't simply mean deciding which hospitals should close. It includes changes such as merging two hospitals or consolidating a service in one hospital rather than have it duplicated in other, nearby hospitals. Or it can mean converting an acute care hospital into a long-term care facility instead of having two acute care hospitals operating side-by-side. The second part of its mandate is to advise the Minister of Health about restructuring other health care services. So the commission will consider the province's hospitals against a background of how all the various components of the health care system will work together. From the patient's perspective the goal is to create an integrated system of health care services that will result in a seamless continuum of care. The commission's first focus will be on hospitals, because that is where reorganization is most urgently needed. And at the same time it will consider hospital-related services such as home care and long-term care.

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