Ontario's Health Minister Kristina Elliot says she takes serious care seriously but will not say whether her first job – Antarison's patient ambassador – will be held or cut by her government.
Elliott quit the high-paying job in February when she decided to run for the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party. She lost to Premier Doug Ford but won a meeting in the June election and Ford topped her to be Deputy Premier and Health Minister.
The Ford Government has not appointed a new patient of Abuson to allow Elliot and the office is currently seated by its Executive Director Craig Thompson. There is speculation in the legislature that is not condemned to fill vacancy. On the slow ambulatory website it says there are "no new job openings."
Elliott interviewed her first position and his fate was declining.
"The Minister of Elliot takes care of the people very seriously," said a press secretary Hayley Chazz. It was to blame the previous liberal government for mismanaging Ontario's health care system.
Office in limbo for months
Elliott's office was repeatedly asked whether the Ford government was committed to maintaining the position or if it was under review as part of its effort to cut costs. Her press secretary would not answer the question.
If Ford decides to scrap it, Elliott could find himself having to defend the elimination of his old job.
"The office was in limbo since February," NDP's health critic Frank Gowin told BBC news. "The rumors circulating in Quinn's park are that the office will be eliminated and the responsibility will go to the ambulance."
The Ford Government recently announced it is intended to disseminate the offices of the French Language Services Commission and the child disconnect and shift their responsibility to the Ontario Ambassador Paul Dubé.
Gélinas said she had not heard anything official that Ford's government was going to take the same direction with the patient Obbussman.
Interim Liberal Songs John Fraser said the Ford Fear did not appoint a new patient Obbussman yet is a signal that the PC's considering cutting the role.
"I would think that the movement that they have taken to eliminate an independent officer in the legislature, that the patient Obbuscans is in danger," he told the CBC news.
Fraser he was concerned that the office was on the chopper block and he looked like it looked.
"It is important for people who have difficulty getting the care they need and they do not know where to turn." The ambushman and the staff do that every day, "he said.
The Liberals created the position when they were in power and the office was launched in 2016 with Elliott, a former PCP MPP at that time, in the helm.
The office responds to claims from current or former patients, or their caregivers, about their experiences with the health care system. It is likely to be a last resort if patients and their health care providers can not solve problems on their own. It may also include investigations and make recommendations to health care organizations.
Calls for more independence
The slow ambushman is not an independent officer of the legislature, however. It falls under Health Quality Ontario – a government agency that monitors quality in health care and provides advice to government and health care providers.
Doris Grinspun, chief executive officer of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, said the position never should be put under Health Quality Ontario.
"It should be loose," she told the BBC News. Greenspan said that Ford should make the slow ambassadors an independent officer of the legislature, and if not then settle it in the general ambassador's office.
But the position should not be eliminated, she said.
"The public needs to have a point of contact to talk about the health of the health and improvement experience that we need to do." We have a lot of learning from the public and at the end of the day they are the recipients of the care , She said.
If Ford chorded the work completely, "a voice will be lost – the voice of the public," said Grinspun.
The public is increasingly using the office since it opened. In the first year it received 2,000 complaints and the following year it was up to 2300. So far this year, between July and October, it took over 850 complaints, a higher monthly average than the previous year.
With the top job empty, the office now has 17 staffs including free rescue specialists, investigators and other staff. The operating budget is $ 3,700,000. When Elliot learned the work, he received $ 203,543.
Laura Williams, director of patient relationship at Toronto University Health Network (UHN), said her office has worked with the patient obbussman office on multiple occasions to determine complaints of patients in Uhn's care.
Outdoor perspective can help patients
It can be useful to have people outside the hospital to take a look at a situation and provide a "unique lens," she said.
"It's a collaborative process and gives us another opportunity to reflect and look at things from a different perspective."
If the government is determined to hold the role but fixed it in the Amusement Office, it will not get any opposition from the NDP.
Gélinas said that the slow AMBUDSMAN's mandate is currently too limited and moving it into the overall ambassador's office would be a way to broaden it.
She said that the obudman was sure that the slow-obsession should involve the duties.
The Liberals do not share this confidence.
"The Ombudsman has a pretty broad mandate, when you begin to fold things in, they are diminished as a priority," said Friar.
Ford's office declined the opportunity to comment on this story.