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After ten years of work by The Lung Association and its many Breathing partners and stakeholders across the province, on December 12, 2017 Bill 71 was passed by unanimous consent in the Ontario Legislature. And, on December 14th the Bill received Royal Assent from the Lieutenant Governor, officially enacting into law The Ontario Lung Health Advisory Council.
This group will be dedicated to providing provincially-based advice and recommendations on lung health to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to make improvements in lung health awareness, diagnosis, treatment and care. Its goal will be to work towards the development and implementation of an Ontario Lung Health Action Plan that will provide a coordinated approach to prevent lung disease, improve patient outcomes and reduce health-care spending.
Since the passing of the Lung Health Act, The Lung Association has continued to work with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on recommendations for candidates to fill the various positions on the Council. A final decision on the membership will be made by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, with formal approval by the Executive Council of Ontario.
While we don’t yet know the final membership of the Council, we do know that we will need a broad base of expertise and support to complement its efforts. With that in mind, we anticipate additional opportunities to contribute through working groups and project-based initiatives. Additional information on volunteer opportunities such as these will be forthcoming.
Thank you to the members of the Lung Health Caucus, members of our professional societies, our donors, partners, volunteers and staff for all of your support in getting us to where we are today. With you by our side, we are helping even more Ontarians breathe.