Transcript: The Patient Ombudsman Will See You Now | Dec 14, 2016

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped gray tie.

A caption on screen reads "The patient ombudsman will see you now. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says YOU MAY RECOGNIZE OUR
NEXT GUEST FROM HER MANY YEARS
IN PROVINCIAL POLITICS,
INCLUDING A BID A COUPLE OF
YEARS AGO FOR THE LEADERSHIP OF
ONTARIO'S PROGRESSIVE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY.
WHILE SHE HAS NOW STEPPED AWAY
FROM POLITICS, SHE IS STILL
WORKING TO GIVE VOICE TO
ONTARIANS IN HER NEW ROLE AS
THIS PROVINCE'S FIRST EVER
PATIENT OMBUDSMAN.
AND WE WELCOME CHRISTINE ELLIOTT
TO TVO TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HER NEW JOB.

Christine is in her fifties, with wavy blond hair. She's wearing a black leather jacket over a white shirt.

Steve continues WELCOME BACK TO OUR STUDIO.

Christine says GREAT TO
BE HERE, STEVE, THANK YOU.

Steve says WHY DOES ONTARIO
NEED A PATIENT OMBUDSMAN TO
BEGIN WITH?

The caption changes to "Christine Elliott. Patient Ombudsman."
Then, it changes again to "A new role."

Christine says I THINK
THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE IN
ONTARIO THAT HAVE HAD
EXPERIENCES THAT HAVEN'T BEEN
IDEAL.
I THINK THE GOVERNMENT
RECOGNIZED THAT.
AND ALSO RECOGNIZED THE NEED TO
HAVE A SPECIALIZED PLACE FOR
PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO COME TO.
SO WE HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE AND
EXPERIENCE IN OUR OFFICE, WE
HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE TRAINED
CLINICIANS, BUT ALSO PEOPLE
TRAINED IN MEDIATION TOO TO TRY
TO SOLVE SOME OF THE PROBLEMS
THAT PEOPLE ARE FACING.

Steve says HERE IS WHAT THE
MINISTER OF HEALTH HAS TASKED
YOU WITH DOING...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Powers and responsibilities."

Steve reads from the slate and says MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO A HEALTH
SECTOR ORGANIZATION FOLLOWING AN
INVESTIGATION.
SO THAT'S THE JOB.
LET'S DIVE IN ON THIS A BIT
MORE.
UNRESOLVED COMPLAINTS WOULD MEAN WHAT?

Christine says COMPLAINTS THAT PEOPLE HAVE
ABOUT THEIR CARE IN HOSPITAL.
IT CAN RANGE ANYTHING FROM THE
PARKING RATES, FOR EXAMPLE, OR
IT CAN BE SOMETHING WHERE A
LOVED ONE MAY HAVE DIED WHILE IN
HOSPITAL AND THEY HAVE SOME
UNRESOLVED CONCERNS AND ISSUES
ABOUT IT.
THAT'S WHERE WE GET INVOLVED AND
WE TRY TO MEDIATE A RESOLUTION
TO TRY AND FIND OUT WHAT'S
HAPPENED.
WE'RE NOT PATIENT ADVOCATES IN
THE SENSE THAT WE DON'T ADVOCATE
FOR THE PATIENT EVERY SINGLE
TIME. WE ARE A TRUE PATIENT
OMBUDSMAN IN THE TRADITIONAL
SENSE THAT WE ADVOCATE FOR
FAIRNESS IN HEALTH CARE.
THAT'S WHAT WE TRY AND FIND AND
TRY AND RESOLVE THINGS TO
PATIENT SATISFACTION.

Steve says HOW DO YOU DECIDE,
YES, THIS IS A CASE WE WILL GO
FORWARD WITH.
THIS ONE, NOT SO SURE.

Christine says SOMETIMES IT'S A QUESTION OF
JUDGMENT.
IT'S A QUESTION OF TAKING A LOOK
AT ALL THE INFORMATION THAT'S
APPLICABLE AND RELEVANT AND
MAKING A DETERMINATION ABOUT
WHETHER WE PROCEED OR NOT.

Steve says IS IT YOUR CALL?

Christine says YES,
ULTIMATELY, IT IS MY CALL.

Steve says ULTIMATELY IT'S YOUR
CALL.
IF YOU DO INVESTIGATE.
LET'S SAY SOMEBODY HAD A LOVED
ONE GO INTO THE HOSPITAL AND
THEY DIDN'T COME OUT.
THEY PERISHED, FOR WHATEVER
REASON.
DO YOU HAVE SUBPOENA POWERS, OR
WHAT ARE YOU ABLE TO DO AS AN
INVESTIGATOR TO LOOK INTO THIS?

Christine says WE CAN.
WE CAN SUMMONS WITNESSES AND WE
CAN GO INTO PREMISES TO CONDUCT
INVESTIGATIONS.
WE DO HAVE THOSE POWERS.
OF COURSE, WE HOPE WE DON'T HAVE
TO USE THEM.
BUT WE CAN IF IT'S NECESSARY.
AND THEN WE CAN MAKE
RECOMMENDATIONS.
BUT LIKE THE OMBUDSMAN OF
ONTARIO, WE CAN'T FORCE ANYBODY
TO DO ANYTHING AS A RESULT OF
THOSE INVESTIGATIONS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS.
WE JUST HAVE THE POWER OF MORAL
SUASION, AS THE OMBUDSMAN DOES,
AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE GOING TO
BE USING.

Steve says YOU'VE BEEN IN
POLITICS FOR A LONG TIME.

Christine says YES.

Steve says THE USE OF MORAL SUASION.
HOW OFTEN DOES THAT WORK THESE DAYS?

Christine says WELL, I
THINK YOU HAVE TO MAKE A GOOD
CASE AND I THINK YOU HAVE TO
ARGUE TO THE BEST OF YOUR
ABILITY.
SO FAR THE MINISTER HAS
INDICATED THAT HE WANTS OUR
OFFICE TO BE STRONG AND
INDEPENDENT AND HE KNOWS WE'RE
NOT ALWAYS GOING TO MAKE
RECOMMENDATIONS HE'S GOING TO
LIKE, BUT HE HAS TOLD ME HE
WANTS ME TO DO MY JOB AND DO
WHAT I THINK IS NECESSARY ON
BEHALF OF PATIENTS AND FAMILIES.

Steve says THAT CAN GO THE
OTHER WAY AS WELL, THAT YOU
INVESTIGATE ON BEHALF OF
PATIENTS AND YOU HAVE TO GO BACK
TO PATIENTS AND SAY, LOOK, THEY
ACTUALLY DID EVERYTHING FINE.
IT DIDN'T WORK OUT, BUT IT WENT FINE.

Christine says YES.

Steve says HOW DO YOU DELIVER
THAT KIND OF NEWS TO SOMEBODY
WHO DOESN'T WANT THAT KIND OF NEWS?

Christine says SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO DO THAT.
THAT'S THE NATURE OF OUR WORK.
WE ADVOCATE FOR FAIRNESS IN
HEALTH CARE.
WE LISTEN TO WHAT EVERYBODY
INVOLVED HAS TO SAY AND THAT
INCLUDES HEALTH CARE
ORGANIZATIONS.
YOU'RE RIGHT, SOMETIMES PEOPLE
AREN'T GOING TO LIKE THAT NEWS.
THE REALITY IS WE ARE GOING TO
FULLY INVESTIGATE THINGS AND
REPORT ON OUR FINDINGS.

Steve says HAVE YOU GOT ENOUGH
RESOURCES TO DO THE JOB WELL?

Christine says WE HAVE
A SMALL BUT MIGHTY TEAM, AND OF
COURSE YOU ALWAYS WANT MORE
RESOURCES BUT I FEEL CONFIDENT
WE CAN DO THE JOB RIGHT NOW WITH
WHAT WE HAVE.

Steve says SMALL AND MIGHTY
MEANS WHAT?

Christine says WE HAVE
17 PEOPLE, TOTAL COMPLEMENT IN
OUR OFFICE, AND IT IS STILL
EARLY DAYS.
SO THERE'S STILL A LOT OF
ONTARIANS THAT DON'T KNOW ABOUT
US YET AND DON'T KNOW THE WORK
THAT WE'RE DOING, AND THAT'S MY
CHALLENGE, I GUESS, GOING
FORWARD INTO 2017, IS TO TRY AND
BE AS ACCESSIBLE AND AS
INCLUSIVE AS POSSIBLE, SO THAT
MEANS TRAVELLING TO PARTS OF
ONTARIO THAT... PARTICULARLY FAR
NORTHERN ONTARIO TO SPEAK ABOUT
THE WORK WE DO, GETTING IN TOUCH
WITH PEOPLE IN HOSPITALS,
PARTICULARLY FORENSIC PATIENTS
IN MENTAL HEALTH HOSPITALS,
PEOPLE WHO ARE OTHERWISE
MARGINALIZED.
THERE'S STILL A LOT OF WORK I
HAVE TO DO TO GET OUT AND SPEAK
ABOUT WHAT WE DO IN OUR OFFICE.

Steve says ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE
COMPLAINING SO FAR?

Christine says YES.
WE'VE RECEIVED OVER 700
COMPLAINTS SO FAR.

Steve says IN JUST THE FEW
MONTHS...

Christine says IN JUST
THE FEW MONTHS WE'VE BEEN
OPENED.
THERE ARE A LOT OF UNRESOLVED
ISSUES AND WE'RE WORKING HARD ON
THEM.

Steve says 700 COMPLAINTS AMONG
17 STAFFERS, YOU HAVE A FULL
LOAD THERE.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DECIDE?

Christine says SOME OF
THEM CAN BE FAIRLY EASILY
RESOLVED AND THAT'S WHAT OF
COURSE WE TRY TO DO IS THAT
EARLY RESOLUTION.
SOME OF THEM ARE MORE
COMPLICATED.
SOME OF THEM MIGHT INVOLVE, FOR
EXAMPLE, A COMPLAINT ABOUT A
HOSPITAL AND A PHYSICIAN AND
MAYBE A LONG-TERM CARE HOME.
WE CAN'T DEAL WITH COMPLAINTS
AGAINST A REGULATED HEALTH
PROFESSIONAL.
THEY HAVE TO GO TO THEIR
RESPECTIVE COLLEGES.
WHAT WE ARE FINDING IS THAT SOME
OF THESE MORE COMPLICATED CASES,
PEOPLE WANT US TO ALMOST BE A
NAVIGATOR FOR THEM TO HELP THEM
THROUGH IT, EVEN IF THERE ARE
PARTS WE CAN'T INVESTIGATE,
WE'RE SORT OF LIKE THE
QUARTERBACKS, I GUESS, TO PULL
IT ALL TOGETHER FOR PEOPLE.

Steve says YOU SPENT LONG
ENOUGH IN POLITICS TO KNOW THAT
SOMETIMES VERY TROUBLED PEOPLE
MAKE COMPLAINTS.
FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU HAVEN'T
ALREADY, I SUSPECT AT SOME POINT
YOU'RE GOING TO GET A COMPLAINT
FROM SOMEBODY WHO SAID THEY WERE
CAPTURED BY A UFO AND THE ALIENS
ARE MAKING CONTACT THROUGH THEM
THROUGH THE SILVER IN THE
FILLINGS IN THEIR TEETH AND,
DAMN IT, THEY'RE GOING TO BE ALL
OVER YOU TO MAKE SURE YOU
INVESTIGATE THIS AND GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE THOSE KIND OF CASES?

Christine says WELL,
OUR TAG LINE IS: EVERY
EXPERIENCE MATTERS.
AND IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO US
THAT WE LISTEN, REALLY LISTEN TO
PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE
NATURE OF THEIR COMPLAINT IS.
AND SOMETIMES THEY SEEM LIKE
THEY'RE VERY UNUSUAL, BUT EVERY
CASE WE REALLY LOOK AT IT TO SEE
IF WE CAN BE INVOLVED.
BUT YOU'RE RIGHT.
SOMETIMES THERE ARE CASES LIKE
THAT WHERE THERE MAY BE ELEMENTS
OF THINGS THAT WE CAN
INVESTIGATE, BUT THE LARGEST
PART OF IT IS NOT
INVESTIGATABLE.
SO THAT'S WHERE WE JUST HAVE TO
TELL PEOPLE IN THAT CASE THAT
WE'RE NOT ABLE TO HELP THEM.
AND THAT'S DIFFICULT, BECAUSE
YOU DO WANT TO BE ABLE TO HELP
EVERYBODY, PARTICULARLY IN
SITUATIONS WHERE PEOPLE MAY HAVE
MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES.

Steve says WHO DOES THE
OMBUDSMAN ANSWER TO?

Christine says IN MY
CASE, I'M NOT AN INDEPENDENT
OFFICER OF THE LEGISLATURE, BUT
I DO PROVIDE A REPORT AT LEAST
ANNUALLY TO THE MINISTER OF
HEALTH.

The caption changes to "Post-politics."

Steve says OKAY.
LET'S SPEND A LITTLE BIT OF TIME
ON THAT.
OBVIOUSLY THE AUDITOR GENERAL
REPORTS TO THE LEGISLATURE, THE
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSIONER OF
ONTARIO REPORTS TO THE
LEGISLATURE, THE INFORMATION AND
PRIVACY COMMISSIONER... I COULD
GO ON.
YOU REPORT TO THE MINISTER OF
HEALTH, WHICH SUGGESTS TO ME AT
ANY RATE THAT THAT'S DIFFERENT,
THAT YOU VERY DIRECTLY WORK FOR
HIM, AND PEOPLE ARE GOING TO
WONDER WHETHER OR NOT THAT
COMPROMISES ON YOUR INDEPENDENCE
AT ALL.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Christine says WELL,
IT'S NOT CONSIDERED A REPORTING
RELATIONSHIP.
I JUST SUBMIT REPORTS TO THEM.
SO THERE IS A DIFFERENCE THERE.
BUT THERE HAS BEEN SOME CONCERN
ABOUT THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE
OFFICE.
WE HAVE HEARD THAT FROM PATIENTS
AND FAMILIES.
AND WHAT I'VE TOLD PEOPLE IS
THAT I'M GOING TO REPORT WHAT I
FIND, AND THAT'S... I'M GOING TO
BE AS INDEPENDENT AS POSSIBLE
WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE
OFFICE, AND I BELIEVE IT WAS SET
UP THE WAY IT WAS TO ALLOW ME TO
WORK WITH HEALTH SECTOR
ORGANIZATIONS TO FIND SOLUTIONS,
AND I THINK THAT'S A POSITIVE THING.

Steve says ON THE OTHER HAND,
YOU USED TO BE THE HEALTH CRITIC
FOR THE ONTARIO P.C. PARTY.
YOU USED TO GET UP IN THE
LEGISLATURE AND ASK THE CURRENT
MINISTER OF HEALTH QUESTIONS
WHICH YOU HOPE WOULD BE AS
EMBARRASSING AS POSSIBLE TO THE
GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY.
AND NOW YOU SORT OF REPORT TO
THIS GUY.
IS THAT ODD?

Christine says NO.
I DON'T THINK IT IS AT ALL
BECAUSE TO ME IT'S ALWAYS BEEN
ABOUT FINDING ISSUES AND DEALING
WITH THEM, AND THAT'S THE KIND
OF... THE NATURE OF THE
RELATIONSHIP WE HAVE NOW.
WHEN I WAS AT QUEEN'S PARK AS A
POLITICIAN, I WOULD RAISE ISSUES
WITH A VIEW TO GETTING THEM
RESOLVED.
SO I RAISE ISSUES IN THE SAME
WAY NOW, WITH THE SAME GOALS, TO
GETTING THEM RESOLVED.

Steve says HAS THERE BEEN ANY
TIME IN THE LAST, WHATEVER, 6
MONTHS THAT YOU ACTUALLY HAVE
THE OFFICE UP AND GOING, WHERE
YOU HAVE FELT CONCERNED ABOUT
THE LEVEL OF INDEPENDENCE YOU
HAVE TO DO YOUR JOB?

Christine says WELL, I
HAD MADE REPRESENTATIONS TO THE
COMMITTEE ON BILL 41, THE
PATIENT FIRST ACT, ASKING THE
GOVERNMENT TO MAKE MY OFFICE AN
INDEPENDENT OFFICE OF THE
LEGISLATURE BECAUSE OF THOSE
PERCEIVED CONCERNS THAT I HAD
HEARD FROM PATIENTS.
BUT I SUSPECT THAT IT'S GOING TO
TAKE A LITTLE BIT MORE TIME.
I UNDERSTAND THAT DID NOT HAPPEN
IN THE AMENDMENTS TO THE ACT.
BUT I THINK IT'S RATHER LIKE THE
OFFICE OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE
COMMISSIONER WHERE IT TOOK A FEW
YEARS, YOU HAVE TO ESTABLISH
YOUR CREDIBILITY AND YOUR TRACK
RECORD, AND I'M HOPING THAT IN
TIME THE GOVERNMENT WILL SEE FIT
TO MAKE IT AN INDEPENDENT
OFFICE.
BUT IN THE MEANTIME, IT DOESN'T
REALLY AFFECT WHAT I DO ON A
DAY-TO-DAY BASIS.
I STILL CONDUCT MY
INVESTIGATIONS COMPLETELY
INDEPENDENTLY AND I'LL CONTINUE
TO DO THAT.

Steve says CAN I DRAG YOU INTO
POLITICS A LITTLE BIT HERE.
DO YOU THINK IF THE
CONSERVATIVES WERE THE
GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY, THEY
MIGHT SEE IT YOUR WAY?

Christine says I CAN'T
REALLY SPECULATE ON THAT.
I AM TOTALLY NON-PARTISAN NOW.

Steve says ISN'T THAT WEIRD?
YOU SPENT... OBVIOUSLY, YOU WERE
A PARTISAN POLITICIAN FOR MANY
YEARS, YOUR LATE HUSBAND JIM
FLAHERTY WAS A PARTISAN
POLITICIAN, SAME PARTY, NOW YOU
HAVE TO DITCH ALL THAT
PARTISANSHIP.
IS THAT HARD TO DO?

Christine says NOT REALLY.
NOT FOR ME.
THE REASON WHY I GOT INVOLVED IN
POLITICS FOR THE FIRST PLACE WAS
REALLY BECAUSE OF MY INTEREST IN
HEALTH CARE ISSUES IN HELPING
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND
SPECIAL NEEDS.
I GET TO DO THAT IN THIS JOB.
I GET TO CONTINUE THAT PASSION
FROM THE OLD JOB INTO THE NEW
JOB AND I DON'T HAVE TO RUN FOR
AN ELECTION ANYMORE.
THAT'S NOT A BAD THING.

Steve says THAT IS TRUE.
THE GIG YOU'VE GOT RIGHT NOW, I
GUESS YOU USED TO HAVE TO GET
RE-EMPLOYED EVERY FOUR YEARS BY
THE VOTERS.
ARE YOU ON A TERM RIGHT NOW?

Christine says YES.
IT'S A 5-YEAR TERM THAT IS
RENEWABLE ONCE.
I'M NOT QUITE FINISHED MY FIRST
YEAR YET.

Steve says GOTCHA.
KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THE
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, FROM YOUR
TIME AS A CRITIC, FROM YOUR TIME
AS A PARENT HAVING TO INTERACT
WITH IT AND SO ON, WHAT DO YOU
THINK... WHAT ASPECT OF THE
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM DO YOU THINK
NEEDS ATTENTION THE MOST RIGHT NOW?

The caption changes to "The goals."

Christine says I THINK
A LOT OF IT IS IN TERMS OF
TRANSITIONS.
THAT'S WHAT WE'RE HEARING MOST
ABOUT FROM PEOPLE, TRANSITIONS
FROM HOSPITAL TO HOME OR
HOSPITAL TO LONG-TERM CARE.
I THINK THAT THERE'S A LOT OF
WORK THAT WE CAN DO TO MAKE IT
MORE SEAMLESS FOR PATIENTS AND
FOR... IF YOU REALLY WANT TO
HAVE A TRULY PATIENT-FOCUSED
SYSTEM OF HEALTH CARE, I THINK
YOU REALLY HAVE TO FOLLOW THE
PATIENT'S JOURNEY AS THEY GO
THROUGH EACH OF THOSE STAGES AND
WORK TO MAKE THAT AS POSITIVE AN
EXPERIENCE AS POSSIBLE.
SO I THINK GENERALLY SPEAKING
TRANSITIONS IS WHERE WE'RE
REALLY CONCENTRATING OUR
EFFORTS.

Steve says BUT JUST SO I'M CLEAR.
I MEAN, THAT TRANSITION CAN
START WITH THE GP, IT CAN GO TO
HOSPITAL, IT CAN GO TO
SPECIALIST, YOU KNOW, DEPENDING
ON THE AGE, LONG-TERM CARE HOME,
ANY NUMBER OF DIFFERENT
WAYSTATIONS IF YOU LIKE IN THE
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH YOUR
DOCTOR, WITH YOUR GP, WE DON'T
REALLY GO TO YOU, DO WE?

Christine says NO, NO.
THAT'S STILL OUTSIDE OF MY
MANDATE.
IT'S JUST HOSPITALS, LONG-TERM
CARE HOMES, AND COMMUNITY CARE
THROUGH CCAC.

Steve says IS THAT SOMETHING
YOU WANT TO CHANGE ABOUT YOUR
MANDATE AS WELL?

Christine says AGAIN, I
HAD ASKED THROUGH THE COMMITTEE
HEARINGS ON BILL 41 TO ASK THAT
THE LHINs, LOCAL HEALTH
INTEGRATION NETWORKS, BE PLACED
UNDER MY JURISDICTION AS WELL
BECAUSE CURRENTLY, THE LHIN ARE
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE
OMBUDSMAN OF ONTARIO, COMMUNITY
CARE ACCESS CORPORATIONS ARE MY
RESPONSIBILITY.
THEY'RE GOING TO BE MERGED
TOGETHER AS A RESULT OF BILL 41.
PATIENTS ARE FINDING IT REALLY
CONFUSING.

Steve says GEEZ, I CAN'T
IMAGINE WHY.

Christine says A LOT OF
PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHAT A LHIN IS
OR CCAC.
THERE'S NO REASON THEY SHOULD.
THEY JUST KNOW THEY WANT TO GET
CARE FOR THEMSELVES OR FOR THEIR
LOVED ONE.
AGAIN, I'D LIKE TO SEE THAT AS
SEAMLESS AS POSSIBLE.
SO THAT'S WHY I ASKED FOR THAT
JURISDICTION.

Steve says BUT WERE TURNED DOWN.

Christine says YES, AT
COMMITTEE AND IN LEGISLATIVE
AMENDMENTS THAT WERE MADE TO THE BILL.

Steve says DO YOU HAVE A WAY OF
REVISITING THAT OVER THE YEARS
OR DO YOU PLAN TO REVISIT THAT
OVER THE YEARS?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram."

Christine says I THINK
AT THIS POINT WHAT WE'RE GOING
TO DO IS WAIT AND SEE WHAT
HAPPENS WITH THE NEW SYSTEM
BECAUSE THE LHINs ARE GOING TO
HAVE TO DO WITH THAT, BECAUSE
THEY REFER PEOPLE, WHICH
OMBUDSMAN.
WE'LL SEE WHAT THAT EXPERIENCE
IS.
CERTAINLY WE WILL BE MAKING
RECOMMENDATIONS IF THAT
CONTINUES TO BE A POINT OF
CONCERN FOR PATIENTS AND
FAMILIES AND IT'S SORT OF
WAIT-AND-SEE RIGHT NOW.

Steve says WE TALK MOSTLY
POLICY ON THIS PROGRAM, BUT WE
TALK A LITTLE BIT OF POLITICS
AND I WANT TO ASK YOU A LITTLE
BIT ABOUT POLITICS.

Christine says SURE.

Steve says GIVEN THE FACT THAT
IT'S A LIBERAL GOVERNMENT IN
POWER RIGHT NOW AND YOU ARE A
FORMER MEMBER OF THE PROGRESSIVE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY, A FORMER
M.P.P. FOR THAT PARTY, WERE YOU
AT ALL SURPRISED WHEN YOU GOT
THE CALL TO DO THIS JOB?

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda"

Christine says I DIDN'T
ACTUALLY GET A CALL FROM ANYONE
IN GOVERNMENT. I ACTUALLY GOT A
CALL FROM THE RECRUITING COMPANY
THAT THEY HAD EMPLOYED TO DO THE
SEARCH AND, AT THAT POINT, I WAS
CONSIDERING MY OPTIONS AND THE
RECRUITER ASKED ME IF I'D BE
INTERESTED IN APPLYING FOR THE
JOB AND I DID AND I WAS
INTERVIEWED BY A GROUP OF ABOUT
SIX PEOPLE. AND I UNDERSTAND
THEY INTERVIEWED OTHER PEOPLE
AS WELL BUT I WAS CERTAINLY
REALLY HAPPY, VERY PLEASED TO
BE OFFERED THE POSITION.

Steve says BUT I PRESUME IT WAS
THE MINISTER AND OR THE PREMIER
WHO, AT THE END OF THE DAY,
SIGNED OFF ON IT. YES?

Christine says THE
MINISTER CALLED ME AND OFFERED
ME THE JOB. YES.

Steve says AND AGAIN, WAS THAT...
IN SOME RESPECTS, THAT'S A BIT
OF A SURREAL MOMENT ISN'T IT?

Christine says IT WAS A
LITTLE DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF
HAVING BEEN INVOLVED IN POLITICS
FOR SO LONG.
BUT I THINK DURING THE COURSE OF
MY TIME AT QUEEN'S PARK, I
ALWAYS TRIED TO CONCENTRATE ON
THE ISSUES AND NOT ON ANY
PERSONAL STUFF, NOT BEING NASTY
AT QUEEN'S PARK.
I TRIED TO JUST STICK WITH THE
FACTS.
AND SO HOPEFULLY THAT PLAYED A
PART.
I DON'T REALLY KNOW.
BUT I'M CERTAINLY MORE THAN
HAPPY TO BE IN THIS JOB BECAUSE
IT REALLY IS ALMOST LIKE A DREAM
JOB FOR ME BEING ABLE TO WORK ON
RESOLVING PEOPLE'S INDIVIDUAL
CONCERNS ABOUT THE HEALTH CARE
SYSTEM, BUT ALSO TO BE ABLE TO
LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE AT
SOME SYSTEMIC ISSUES AND MAKE
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE
PATIENT'S PERSPECTIVE.
THAT'S WHAT PATIENTS HAVE TOLD
ME THEY WANT ME TO DO, IS ALMOST
BE THAT CONDUIT TO REPRESENT THE
PATIENT VOICE AT THE LEVEL OF
POLICY AND DECISION MAKERS.

Steve says DO YOU MISS POLITICS AT ALL?

Christine says I MISS A
LOT OF THE PEOPLE.
I MISS BEING AT QUEEN'S PARK
SOMETIMES.
BUT I'M CERTAINLY REALLY HAPPY
THAT THE WORK I'M DOING NOW.

Steve says YOU WERE HOW MANY
YEARS IN IT? AT THE END OF THE
DAY, IT WAS ALMOST A DECADE?

Christine says IT WAS 9
YEARS... A LITTLE OVER 9 YEARS
AS AN ELECTED REP...

Steve says ALL IN THE OPPOSITION
BENCHES THOUGH.

Christine says YES.

Steve says YOU WISH YOU GOT TO
THE GOVERNMENT SIDE? HOW OFTEN
DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?

Christine says I
CERTAINLY DO WISH THAT. THAT IS
MY BIGGEST REGRET, I GUESS. BUT,
YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE CERTAIN
OPPORTUNITIES IN LIFE AND I
TRIED TO MAKE THE MOST OF MY
TIME THERE WITH THE SELECT
COMMITTEES THAT I PARTICIPATED
ON. AND I THINK ANYBODY THAT
DID PARTICIPATE ON THOSE
COMMITTEES SAID THAT IT WAS
AMONG THE BEST WORK THAT THEY
DID AT QUEEN'S PARK INCLUDING
SOME CABINET MINISTERS NOW, SO,
I REALLY FONDLY REMEMBER MY TIME
THERE AND HAVING THE CHANCE TO
WORK WITH PEOPLE FROM ALL
POLITICAL PARTIES.

Steve says GREAT.
ENJOY THE NEW JOB.

Christine says THANK YOU.

Steve says AND GOOD LUCK WITH IT.

Christine says I
APPRECIATE THAT. THANKS.

The caption changes to "Producer: Sandra Gionas, @sandragionas."

Steve says THAT'S CHRISTINE ELLIOTT, THE
NEW PATIENT OMBUDSMAN FOR THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.

Watch: The Patient Ombudsman Will See You Now