Ford government to create new Ontario Health super agency

Province unveils new 'Ontario Health' super agency, co-ordinated health teams

New health agency to be created in Ontario

Other agencies to be consolidated are Trillium Gift of Life Network, Health Shared Services, Health Quality Ontario and HealthForce Ontario Marketing and Recruitment Agency.

A new agency, called Ontario Health, will consolidate local health integration networks, Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario and several other agencies.

The system transformation, including establishing local health teams to co-ordinate care, will take years, Health Minister Christine Elliott said.

And so, she said, the not-for-profit home was eager to discuss opportunities for more long-term care beds for the area, beyond the 20 additional beds already included as part of the home's ongoing multimillion-dollar redevelopment project.

"Before the government makes a massive change like this that was not part of their platform at the last election - to increase privatization of health-care - we need to be able to make sure the public has their say", said Bisson.

The entire process will be seamlessly phased in to ensure that Ontarians can continue to contact their health care providers as usual throughout the transition process. Ontario Health will oversee health care delivery, and improve clinical guidance and provide support for providers to enable better quality care for patients.

The Ontario government announced some big changes to healthcare today.

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Elliott said the government will begin creating Ontario Health this spring but said the health care system overhaul will not happen overnight.

A request for comment from the LHIN on the province's announcement was redirected to the ministry. Nothing is going to change that way. That is an average of 3,000 people, every day, in hospital beds because they can not get the professional services that would allow them to recover at home.

When asked how many fewer staff there would be under Ontario Health, Elliott said: "That is something we can't answer right now because of the fact that it is going to be up to the local Ontario health teams to structure the care that's going to be needed in that local area". Patients would experience easy transitions from one health provider to another (for example, between hospitals and home care providers, with one patient story, one patient record, and one care plan).

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.

"It's really about people paying people to do the job", said VanderBent, whose group represents a number of agencies that operate within the North East Local Health Integration Network.

The bottom-up approach that gives primary care physicians a seat at the table is welcome news, Ontario College of Family Physicians president Jennifer Young said. She did not indicate clearly how the changes would affect jobs. However, over time the province's health system has become fractured and disconnected, and as a result patients have been left to suffer on wait lists and navigate the system on their own. "They will continue to pay for their health care services using their OHIP card", Elliott said. Speaking after the same meeting, Egberts said the OHA report helped "to make the case for why hospitals need continued surge funding and why we need to have inflationary funding returned on a regular basis now, because we went many years without it". "Similar systems around the world. have been successful when family physicians have been an essential leader of those changes".

The government is transforming the public health care system to improve patient experience and strengthen local services.This means that patients and families will have access to better and more connected services, and will wait less for these services. "This creates confusion for both patients and providers trying to navigate the health care system".

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