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Super agency proposed to overhaul health care system in Ontario

A new super agency called Ontario Health unveiled this morning would dissolve the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and merge duties with six provincial health agencies.

The legislation is being introduced at Queen’s Park this afternoon and details are expected to follow.

Overhauling the system would begin in the spring, but Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott, in the announcement this morning, said it will take years to take shape. She did not indicate clearly how the changes would affect jobs.

Some 30 to 50 new Ontario Health Teams to be created across the province, she said, “will rely on leadership that already exists in the community rather than create another level of bureaucracy and management.”

With 42 cents of each government dollar going to healthcare, Elliott stated the plan would spend the money better.

“One of the most frustrating aspects of all, is the fact that Ontario is home to some of the world’s best doctors, nurses, and health care teams. But we have left them to do their best with a patchwork system simply not built to help them do their jobs,” she said.

“We rank poorly on critical factors such as wait times, quality of care and system integration compared to our provincial counterparts. Right now, care is fragmented, particularly at transition points, for example, from hospital to home care… and for health care providers, they are each paid out of different funding envelopes and are discouraged from working together in teams.”

Elliot stated patients will still choose who provides their care and more choices will be available through technology – such as offering patients access to electronic health records and providing virtual care options.

Hospitals, long-term care facilities, home-care agencies and other health service providers will form “integrated care entities”. Ontario Health Teams will be made up of local health-care providers and as a group will guide patients using the healthcare system.

The teams are to be established in phases across the province with information on how to become a team coming early March.

The change is expected to reduce duplication of senior management and office support.

If the legislation is passed, Ontario Health will consolidate multple agencies, provincial services and programs – including Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario, the Trillium Gift of Life Network, Health Shared Services, Health Quality Ontario and the HealthForce Ontario Marketing and Recruitment Agency.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Mark says:

    I agree with dismantling the LHIN’s.

  2. suzy says:

    i think the present system offers no privacy for patients. ie., one doctor i was just meeting at a meet and greet without my permission, used her computer and with my name pulled up my medical records. right in front of me without asking if she could do that. well i did not choose her to be my doctor. how is the right to privacy going to be addressed? it is really poor as it stands.

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