Lung Health Bill 71
Bill 71 is focused on lung health. Lung disease affects millions of Ontarians – not just the 2.8 million people who live with a chronic respiratory illness, but also the millions more who love and care for them. For the past 10 years, The Lung Association and its partners have been calling on the Government of Ontario to establish a Lung Health Action Plan in order to properly and effectively address lung disease in the province. Of the four chronic diseases responsible for 79 per cent of deaths (cancers, cardiovascular diseases, lung disease and diabetes) lung disease has been the only one without a dedicated province-wide strategy – until now.
Inspired by what this action plan represents, the three political parties of the Ontario Legislature came together in a demonstration of true non-partisanship and commitment to the health of Ontarians, and reached an agreement to pass Bill 71, Lung Health Act, in the final days of the fall 2017 legislative session.
This legislation will:
- Establish a Lung Health Advisory Council that will make recommendations to the Minister of Health and Long Term Care on lung health issues;
- Develop and implement an Ontario Lung Health Action Plan respecting research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung disease; and
- Require the Minister to consider the recommendations and reports of the Lung Health Advisory Council and to make improvements in lung health awareness, diagnosis, treatment and care.
Lung Health Action Plan
A draft Ontario Lung Health Action Plan was developed by The Lung Association with input from a wide variety of stakeholders. The draft plan aligns with the primary goals of the National Lung Health Framework and recommends key areas of action that are aimed at:
- Preventing lung disease
- Improving patient outcomes
- Saving taxpayer dollars
Your Lungs, Your Life, a report produced by The Lung Association, estimated that lung disease cost taxpayers approximately $4 Billion in 2011. By 2015 that estimate grew to more than $27 billion in direct and indirect healthcare costs. Perhaps what is most troubling is that that cost is expected to balloon to more than $76 billion by 2021, which represents an astonishing estimated 1800 per cent increase in cost over a 10 year period.