Marc André Sirois

Ottawa, Ontario
Ontario Health Study participant since February 2012

What do you think are the most important issues facing the health of Canadians?

There’s an education gap among Canadians and people aren’t getting the right care at the right time.

I think people should stop consulting Dr. Google and seek the appropriate care at the necessary time.

Hospitals should be used as a last resort. I think a lot of Canadian emergency rooms are filled with people with a cold or sprained ankle.

It’s not that there’s a lack of resources – it’s that they aren’t being accessed properly.

Why did you decide to get involved with the Ontario Health Study?

My wife and I had concerns about my sleep quality, and I was asked to participate in a sleep study. I wore the monitor and after one month, I received some bad results. Bad sleeping habits can negatively touch your life in so many ways.

Do you have any personal experience with cancer and/or other chronic diseases?

Yes – lots of them!

I’ve had a few experiences with skin cancer, as well as arthritis and chronic pain.

If there was one thing you could change about health care in your community, what would it be?

Family doctors need less on their plates to they can spend more time with patients. If they could delegate certain tasks to other members of the health-care team, perhaps they could spend more than the allocated five minutes per patient!

Did you learn anything new about yourself after participating in this study?

The Ontario Health Study sends regular communications with links to information and resources that I’ve learned a lot from, including information about my own diagnosis of sleep apnea.

Health segments on the evening news are too short. With the rise of complex chronic diseases and conditions, Canadians need more information, more context, faces and facts!

What would you say to another Canadian who’s thinking about getting involved in Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project?

In today’s world, trust is difficult, but I’d say to all CPTP participants and Canadians to trust the scientific process. CPTP scientists are doing good work that is making a difference on health and it’s empowering for me to be a part of this process.

We need to stick with it for the long term to make an impact, and in the meantime, let’s enjoy the baby steps and small wins.