Minister of Health Promotion Margaret Best spoke to ethnic press
Best is a Jamaican-born lawyer who is in her second term of office. She spoke at a recent meeting of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada. She fielded a lot of questions about Ontario's performance during the SARS crisis. Her answer was that she was not the Minister at the time.
Best outlined that the Ministry of Health Promotion's goal is to develop a culture of health and wellbeing in Ontario and help contribute to the sustainability of our publicly funded health care system. The vision of this ministry is to enable Ontarians to lead healthy, active lives and make the province a healthy, prosperous place to live, work, play, learn and visit.
Her ministry's programs and policies integrate chronic disease prevention, health promotion, and sport and recreation programs, to promote improved long term health outcomes for Ontarians.
Best noted that the Ontario government is committed to continue making Ontario an inclusive and accessible province where people of all abilities have a chance to fully achieve their potential. Ontario is making progress towards building an accessible province by 2025. The Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) has established the foundation to meet this goal. Under the act Ontario is developing standards that will remove the barriers faced by people with disabilities.
Further, the Ministry of Health Prevention and Public Health Units help prevent the devastating effects of chronic diseases by supporting the development of healthy environments and policies and providing information and tools to help individuals develop healthy habits such as healthy eating, nutritious foods, being active every day and being smoke free.
Other programs through governmental agencies are building a diabetes strategy, the Ontario Health Program, an osteoporosis strategy, a stroke strategy and an injury prevention strategy.
"We feel that through these programs we will be able save billions in health care costs," Best told members of the NEPMCC.