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Former MP Jane Philpott to advise the Ontario government on COVID-19 data collection
Former Liberal cabinet minister Jane Philpott is pictured in this undated file image.
TORONTO -- Ontario's Progressive Conservative government is turning to Jane Philpott to help the province develop a health data platform to better track the evolution of COVID-19.
Philpott, who resigned as a cabinet minister in the Trudeau government in 2019 over the SNC scandal, will serve as a special advisor to Ontario's minister of health and treasury board secretary to create the Pandemic Threat Response Data Platform.
Philpott earned praise and respect among members of the Ford government after volunteering to assist Participation House in Markham after a massive staff shortage due to COVID-19 left vulnerable residents at risk.
In a social media post, Philpott said she was "honoured" to play a role in the province's fight against the pandemic and said access to "timely, reliable, cohesive data" will help save lives.
The platform will gather anonymous patient data from a variety of sources including the following: OHIP claims from physicians; medical drug claims submitted to the Ontario Drug Benefit program; summaries of hospital stays and emergency department visits and claims from long-term care.
The government says the integrated data will help the province increase its COVID-19 detection, predict when and where outbreaks may happen and identify weaknesses in the health care system that need immediate attention.
The government hasn't provided a timeline for when the new data platform will be launched.