Our healthcare system relies on a range of health professionals, each with unique expertise, to meet the health needs of Ontarians. However, in the past, we did not have a good grasp on the profile of these professions. For example, we knew very little about how many people were practising in these professions, where they were working, and whether Ontario had the right combination of these professionals to meet future needs. The Health Professions Database is a significant step towards having a truly representative snapshot of Ontario’s regulated healthcare workforce.
Staff at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is working with 20 health regulatory Colleges of Ontario to address this gap by creating a database that will provide the evidence we need for sound health human resources planning about this important group of health professionals. The database is an initiative of the HealthForceOntario health human resources strategy.
Over the summer of 2008, the Ministry and 19 health regulatory Colleges worked diligently to develop a minimum data set for the Health Professions Database. Once populated, the database will provide standardized, consistent and comparable demographic, geographic, educational, and employment information on all of the regulated allied health professionals in Ontario.
The Colleges will be expanding their registration and renewal forms to collect additional information from their members. The process is supported by the Regulated Health Professions Act that requires the regulatory Colleges to collect information from their members and provide it to the Ministry for health human resources planning.
The Health Professions Database Minimum Data Set (MDS) outlines important pieces of information collected by the Health Professions Database which are used for evidence-informed health human resources planning in Ontario. It is a comprehensive list that was developed in collaboration with 21 regulated health professions in Ontario.
The Health Professions Database: Questions and Answers