Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health: Annual Report

Written by Communications, March 1, 2018

Public Health Sector Serves Key Role in Advancing Health Equity.

All Ontarians Should Have The Opportunity To Be As Healthy As Possible, Says Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer Of Health. (PDF)

In his new annual report, Improving the Odds: Championing Health Equity in Ontario, Dr. Williams calls on all sectors to work collectively on community development in order to address the social, economic and environmental barriers to good health.

e notes that well-designed community initiatives supporting social cohesion are key to improving health outcomes. The public health sector is well-positioned to lead these efforts locally.

In the report, Dr. Williams further endorses:

  • Urgent action to identify “outbreaks” of health inequities, and plan effective and sustainable interventions through community development
  • Working system-wide and government-wide to tackle complex health equity issues
  • Providing data to understand health inequities and inform community development efforts.

Strategic investments in health equity research, partnerships and data will help improve the odds for good health throughout Ontario, the report says. These investments will be repaid through better individual health outcomes, healthier communities and lower health care and social costs.


“Public health units have the expertise, interconnectivity and experience to lead community development, which can reduce inequities through its mitigating effects on poor health outcomes. My report calls for system-wide and cross-government action to advance health equity in our province.”

— Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health

“The Peterborough area is a great example of how communities can mobilize in creative ways to address health inequities like income and food insecurity. Dr. Williams’ report clearly shows how these local initiatives must connect to broader system-wide changes to sustainably improve public health. Only then can we effectively narrow the gap in health outcomes.”

— Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health, Peterborough Public Health

Quick Facts

  • Health is influenced by many factors, including genetics, lifestyle choices and social determinants of health, such as income, education, access to health services, and the social and physical environments.
  • People who experience high rates of health inequities and poorer health outcomes are more likely to become high users of health services. The top five per cent of service users account for 55 per cent of health care spending.


For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)

Media Contact:
David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care


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