Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Patient and Family Advisory Council?
The Patient and Family Advisory Council will provide advice to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on key health policy issues. This will give Ontarians the chance to be involved in the policy development process. The new Patient and Family Advisory Council will be made up of 15 members selected through an open public process who together represent a broad cross-section of Ontarians. They will work together to provide detailed guidance to Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.  | Top ↑ 

What is the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care?
The Ministry is part of the Government of Ontario. Headed by the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, the Ministry is responsible for establishing overall strategic direction and provincial priorities for the health system. The Ministry develops legislation, regulations, standards, policies, and directives for health care in Ontario; establishes funding models and levels of funding for the health system; and monitors and reports on the performance of the health system and the health of Ontarians.  | Top ↑ 

Why is the Patient and Family Advisory Council being created?
The Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care published in February 2015 and Ontario’s Open Government initiative announced by the Premier in October 2013 renews the government’s commitment to transform Ontario’s health system into one that puts the needs of patients at its centre. By putting patients first in everything we do, we can provide faster access to the care patients need today and make the necessary investments to ensure our health system will be there for Ontarians for generations to come. The Patient and Family Advisory Council is being created to strengthen the ability of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to collaborate with patients, their families, and caregivers as we work towards a truly patient-centred health system.  | Top ↑ 

What will I do as a member of the Council?
As one of 15 members of the Council, you will have a ‘backstage’ experience as you learn about our health care system and the changing needs of Ontarians. You will meet, learn, and work alongside other members of the Council during no more than six in-person sessions over the next 18-months. These meetings will occur in Toronto, and will be complemented by conference calls and online engagement between major gatherings.

During Council meetings, you will learn first-hand about the health system from Ministry staff and experts, contribute your perspective, learn about the views of others, and work with other members to advise on important issues shaping the health system. Members will provide advice on key policy priorities that have an impact on patient care and experiences, and how the Ministry can better engage with members of the public.  | Top ↑ 

Who is organizing the Council and hosting the meetings?
The Council is being organized and supported by a dedicated team from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The coordinating team will host the Council sessions, ensure members are comfortable with the materials and the process, and help organize travel to and from each meeting. A Council Chair, independent of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, will be selected to guide the work of the Council and ensure its independence and neutrality.  | Top ↑ 

Who is eligible to serve on this Council?
To be a member of the Council, you must be a resident of Ontario and be 18 years of age or older who is committed to participating in the Council’s meetings over the course of the next 18 months. One or more persons per household may apply for the selection process — however, only one person per household can be selected to serve on the Council.  | Top ↑ 

Who is not eligible to serve on this Council?
Elected representatives; employees of provincial and federal health ministries and agencies; doctors, nurses, and other frontline health care staff; and paid employees of companies in health industries and health charities are not eligible to participate. If you are concerned about a potential conflict-of-interest, please call our toll-free line.  | Top ↑ 

How are Council members being recruited?
To ensure that those who apply for the Council represent a broad cross-section of Ontarians, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is working with health organizations across the province to encourage patients, family members, members of patient advisory groups, as well as any interested Ontarian to apply. This will be supplemented through a broad social media campaign inviting individuals to apply through an online form. | Top ↑ 

How will Council members be selected?
Members will be selected to ensure the Council broadly represents the demographic profile of Ontarians and also represents a range of health experiences and circumstances . The Council will also include members who identify as visible minorities, as well as Indigenous, and Francophone members. To ensure members are selected fairly, a short list of 45-60 individuals will be randomly selected from among the pool of volunteers who applied. These 45-60 individuals will be interviewed by an arm’s-length organization to ensure they are able to participate fully and intend to represent the concerns of Ontarians. From those who are deemed eligible, 15 members will be randomly selected to serve on the Council in such a way as to meet the criteria described above.  | Top ↑ 

How do I become a member of the Council?
You must apply no later than April 10, 2017 by calling 1-855-207-7410 or by registering securely online. On April 12, 2017 a special draw will be conducted to randomly select 45-60 applicants that will be interviewed by an arm’s-length organization to ensure they are fully able to participate. Of those who are eligible, 15 will then be randomly selected to serve as Council members.  | Top ↑ 

Where and when are the meetings?
The six face-to-face sessions will take place in Toronto.

The first meeting will be held in spring 2017.

The remainder of the Council schedule will be confirmed once members are selected. We will ensure that sessions do not overlap with statutory holidays, long weekends, and March break.  | Top ↑ 

I am unsure I can commit to attending all meetings of the Council over the course of 18-months. Can I still apply?
We understand this is a large commitment, yet it is very important that all members of the Council attend each of the six in-person meetings in Toronto over the next 18-months. Shorter conference calls or online engagement will occur between the major gatherings. Please consider and confirm your ability to participate before applying.  | Top ↑ 

Will I be compensated for my work as a Council member and are there any costs to participating?
There are no costs to participate and we will provide remuneration to members at a rate of $150 per day for preparation and participation in Council meetings. However, you should consider your time on the Council as an act of public service. If you are selected to sit on the Council, the Ministry will arrange for travel, accommodation, and meals directly associated with the work of the Council. If you are concerned about potential barriers to participating, please call 1-855-207-7410. We are committed to assisting all members so that they can participate successfully, and will do our best to accommodate your needs.  | Top ↑ 

Do you assist members of the Council with travel arrangements?
We are committed to making the process of travel to Toronto easy, comfortable, and safe. Coordinators will arrange your travel, and prior to your departure, carefully review your itinerary with you and make sure you are prepared and all your questions are answered. Coordinators will be available by phone to provide support as needed.  | Top ↑ 

I’m concerned about a possible barrier to participating. What should I do?
We are committed to assisting any eligible resident who is selected to participate successfully. If you would like to be a member of the Council but are concerned about a potential barrier to participating, please call us at 1-855-207-7410 and a coordinator will be happy to discuss how that barrier might be overcome.  | Top ↑ 

How can I follow the Council's progress?
The work of the Council will be made publicly available periodically. To monitor the progress and work of the Council please visit the following Ministry webpage. | Top ↑

If I do not get chosen for the Patient and Family Advisory Council, what other opportunities exist?
Many health care organizations from across the province are currently seeking to expand patient engagement efforts in their work. Individuals are encouraged to reach out to their local hospitals, Local Health Integration Networks or community providers to see how they can be involved.  | Top ↑