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PPAO vs CMHA: Consultation Obtained!

July 31, 2011

An important step has been taken toward the preservation of the PPAO’s independence.  The problem has not been solved, but we’ve bought some time. The Coalition for an Independent PPAO has obtained confirmation by the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (through a letter addressed c/o the indefatigable Lucy Costa) that the government acknowledges the importance of our cause and shall indeed proceed with public consultation! 

July 29, 2011

Dear Ms. Costa:
As you know, my Ministry has been discussing a plan to strengthen the independence of the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office (PPAO), by transferring it from inside government to a more independent body.

It is clear to me that there is a great deal of interest in this issue, and I am grateful for the commitment and dedication that you have shown by bringing your concerns to my attention. I now realize that implementing this change requires greater conversation and consultation, and, as a result, we will not move forward at this time with the current plan. My priority is to make sure that we get this right.

In light of this, in the coming months, we will engage our partners across the sector, including patients and their advocates to determine the best way to achieve our shared goals of increased independence for the PPAO. Through the fall we will consult, and make a decision based on your best advice, moving forward with a finalized plan in the winter.

I am proud of the incredible progress we have made together on the issue of Mental Health and Addictions in the province, highlighted by the release of Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, Open Minds, Health Minds.

Our progress is a testament to your tireless dedication to the needs of patients and I look forward to continuing to build on this together.

Deb Matthews

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