Tuesday , July 27 2021

The Ford government is setting up the super-agency "Health of Ontario": sources



The Ford government will set up a central agency called Ontario Health to monitor the province's healthcare system for $ 60 billion.

The super-agency, which will be opened on Tuesday by Health Minister Christine Elliott, will be formed by dissolving 14 local health integration networks (LHINs) and uniting their responsibilities with those of six provincial health agencies, including Cancer Care Ontario eHealth Ontario, according to senior government sources.

CBC News first revealed plans to merge the health system with a January report on the government's intention to dissolve LHIN. Since then, leaked documents received from the NDP, including draft laws, have revealed more about the changes the government is considering.

Sources claim that the six agencies that will be consolidated under Ontario health, in addition to the 14 LHIN, are:

  • Ontario Cancer Care.
  • eHealth Ontario.
  • Network of Trilium Gift of Life.
  • Shared health services.
  • Quality of Health Ontario.
  • Marketing and Selection Agency of HealthForce Ontario.

Government sources will not provide a target date for dissolving these agencies and setting up health care in Ontario, but "it will take time," one said.

"We will apply this on a timetable that ensures that the patient's experience is protected," said the source to whom anonymity was provided to provide details of the government's announcement.

Ontario's new healthcare will be formed through the dissolution of six provincial health agencies, including Cancer Care in Ontario and Ontario eHealth, as well as 14 local health integration networks (LHINs). (Shutterstock)

Eliot will also reveal details of his plans to encourage hospitals, long-term care homes, home care agencies and other health care providers to form "integrated care".

The plan is for each newly formed group to receive a single block of funding and work together to provide a range of health services, according to sources in the health sector.

Sources say the new health super-agency in Ontario will ask healthcare providers to make suggestions about forming the groups instead of forcing them together.

In theory, these groups will be responsible for integrating care by helping each patient orient themselves in the hospital and community care.

"You will have an initial care base and it will be the responsibility of the group to make sure that you will be redirected through the system with ease," said a source in the health system with knowledge of reforms.

It remains to be seen what role the family doctors will play in the groups, if any.

Eliot will also reveal details of his plans to encourage hospitals, long-term care homes, and home care agencies to unite as a team that will receive a single block to provide health services. (Darren Bernhardt / CBC)

One of the documents leaked was that they would be called "MyCare groups," but many sources, both in the government and the health sector, told CBC News that MyCare's name had been removed. One source claims that instead it will be called "Ontario Health Teams."

On Monday, Elliot talks with reporters at Queen's Park, and although he admits he will declare his plans for health restructuring, he does not reveal details.

"This will significantly reduce the medication in the corridor by taking care of people to find the care they need," Eliot said.

"This is something we have thought long and hard about." she added.

"What we really need to do is focus our patient healthcare system, and that is the center of all this to ensure that patients' needs are addressed and thought above all."

NDP leader Andrea Horvat said on Monday he feared the super-agency model would allow private sector healthcare to be negotiated.

The incoming changes, as well as the complaints of the previous government failed to deal with the problem of hospital overcrowding, the liberals defended themselves.

"I will not say that we have decided everything," said the interim Liberal leader John Fraser.

"Anyone who tells you that there is a healthcare solution, they are not sincere with you because it's a permanent job," he said.

"You're never done.


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