Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy

Approximately half of all patients who suffer a hip fracture have already sustained a previous fracture – a ’signal’ fracture – before breaking their hip. About 15% of hip fractures happen in patients who have already broken one hip.

Through targeted interventions in three priority areas, namely: fracture prevention, health professional education & outreach and patient education and self-management, it is possible to reduce the risk of hip and other osteoporotic fractures.

This is the goal of the Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy, which emerged from recognition by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in 2000, that osteoporosis was an important public health concern and that a comprehensive prevention and management strategy was needed.

A provincially coordinated initiative aimed at managing osteoporosis, reducing osteoporotic fragility fractures and promoting bone health, the overall goal of the Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy is to reduce hip and other osteoporotic fractures in Ontario by 20% by 2020, a goal that is increasingly important in light of Ontario’s increasing aging population.

There is a huge care gap for Canadians who break a bone due to osteoporosis: 80% never receive appropriate osteoporosis care, leaving them at substantial risk for further costly, debilitating and often life‐threatening fractures.

The Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy, funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care since 2005, works to reduce this care gap within Ontario. Its mandate is to reduce morbidity, mortality and costs from osteoporotic fractures using a patient-centred, multi-disciplinary approach that is integrated across healthcare sectors.

The OOS represents the vision and coordinated efforts of many groups, including the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), Osteoporosis Canada, Ontario College of Family Physicians, McMaster University, Women’s College Hospital and St. Michael’s Hospital.

The Ontario Women’s Health Council provided the original ground work for the Strategy, launched and funded by MOHLTC in 2005. Two important consultations and resulting documents facilitated the development of the Strategy.

  • A Framework and Strategy for the Prevention and Management of Osteoporosis (Ontario Women’s Health Council, 2000).
  • The Osteoporosis Action Plan: An Osteoporosis Strategy for Ontario (Ontario Women’s Health Council Osteoporosis Action Plan Committee, February 2003). This document was submitted to the Ministry and received approval in March 2003.The stakeholders and professionals now implementing the Strategy work across the continuum of osteoporosis prevention, screening and management.