History of CCSO

SARS Image Ontario's experience with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) brought renewed energy to improving the province's health care system, including better management of critical care resources across hospitals and jurisdictions in the case of a sudden spike in demand.

Following the resolution of the SARS outbreak, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) approached a group of system leaders, including hospital administrators and healthcare providers, to conduct a comprehensive review of Ontario's critical care services. This process culminated in the release of the Final Report of the Ontario Critical Care Steering Committee in March 2005, which outlined a blueprint for the transformation of Ontario's critical care services. The Report's recommendations formed the Critical Care Strategy, an integrated program of seven core initiatives for improving hospital, LHIN and provincial management of surges in demand for critical care services. On January 30th 2006, the MOHLTC announced a $90 million strategy to improve critical care services in Ontario.

Critical Care Services Ontario is the managing body responsible for the overall program implementation of initiatives of the Critical Care Strategy. Originally established as the Critical Care Secretariat in June 2005, its work is the result of an on-going collaboration between critical care health care providers, hospital administrators, officials from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and other health system partners.

The overarching goals of the Critical Care Strategy are to improve Access, Quality, System Integration and Value, and to enhance the overall health system by addressing the policy, funding, and operational issues that contribute to wait times for critical care across the system.

With its province-wide implications, the Critical Care Strategy continues to be thoroughly informed by clinical and administrative leaders from across Ontario.