Looking to the future, we see increasing demand in a complex system of care for children and youth. Nearly 20 per cent of Ontario’s population is younger than 18, and that’s expected to grow by 600,000 children and youth over the next two decades.

Children and youth who face injury, illness or disability – and their families – rely on a complex network of care hospitals, home and school environments, as well as publicly funded and unfunded community services.

These facts, coupled with the growing fiscal and demographic pressures on the health-care system, highlight the importance of focusing on the health-care needs of children and youth — both current and future.

Improving the coordination of health care for children is a big task

Needs vary by patient type, are changing, and span a broad continuum. Here’s a breakdown of children using pediatric health-care providers.

Who currently provides care for children and youth in Ontario?

For children and youth with critical and ongoing illness, there is a large number of health care providers who need to be connected. See estimates below.

We hear from children, youth and their families that the system for children’s and youth’s health is complex. Here is one family’s experience with navigating a complex system:

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