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Healthcare announcement – Integration – Public

We have been waiting to hear from the Ontario Government.

Questions for the future: public health care system, access to healthcare vs sufficient funding. What is an Ontario Health Team? Will agencies have to do the same stuff or aim in the same direction?

Highlights of Minister Elliott’s announcement

Described as a major announcement, Elliott assured the public that there is a “fundamental right to universal access to a publicly funded health care system”, and she described integration and coordination efforts through Ontario Health Teams, integration of agencies to one common vision and creation of the Ontario Health super-agency. Quotations are from the Ontario government press release.

Public Healthcare

But one thing I want to make clear, is our government’s commitment to the fundamental right of Ontarians of universal access to a publicly funded health care system.

…will always be to strengthen our publicly funded health system, which means paying for your services with your OHIP card. While publicly funded healthcare is not up for debate. the structure and effectiveness of our system is.

Ontario Health Teams

Ontario Health Teams would be made up of your local health care providers, and will be organized in a way that will enable them to work as a coordinated group.

…And a great part about Ontario Health Teams is that they will rely on leadership that already exists in the community, rather than create another level of bureaucracy and management.

We envision a community-based health care delivery model that connects care – and includes primary care and hospitals, home care and long-term care, mental health and addictions supports, just to name a few.

Agencies, systems planning

And that includes looking at how best to structure our agencies.

Over time we have continued to add, but not integrate nor coordinate, new agencies and health care programs.

This approach to system planning has led to the development of many discrete agencies, each working toward a separate vision, following a distinct workplan and embracing at times divergent views on how to deliver the best possible care to patients.

These agencies also often focus on specific patient populations or disease states, while the reality is that people are whole individuals, who span multiple groups or areas of focus.

This is not the fault of any one group.  But our collective failure to demonstrate the courage to take the best of what’s working and make it better.

To bring a consistency of approach to our health care system.

A common vision.  A single point of oversight.  A united effort to get from where we are, to where we need to be.

Ontario Health new overarching agency

Some provincial agencies would transition to the new agency in phases if the legislation is passed. These existing agencies are:

  • Cancer Care Ontario
  • Health Quality Ontario
  • eHealth Ontario
  • Trillium Gift of Life Network
  • Health Shared Services Ontario
  • HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency
  • 14 Local Health Integration Networks

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will also be working with transfer payment partners.

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