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Many of you are likely aware that recently Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, announced significant changes to the Ontario health care system. Some may recall the email I shared with the organization that day and the official press release: Ontario's Government for the People to Break Down Barriers to Better Patient Care.
Central to this change is the creation of Ontario Health, a new agency. The Board of this agency has already been announced. One of the first roles for the agency will be integration of about 20 existing agencies including all the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN). The new agency will also have oversight of a growing number of newly created Ontario Health Teams. These teams are intended to create local communities of care focused on either specific geography and/or specific populations and linking relevant health care providers who serve that community.
My personal view is that this is not an unexpected development but rather a logical next step of where Ontario's health care system and other health care systems around the world are moving. Locally, North York General Hospital (NYGH) has been working with partners across primary care, long-term care, home care, mental health and community support services to think about how we could build on our collective capacity and our experiences to create a North York Ontario Health Team to meet the needs of our community. Our work in the last few years with HealthLinks, Integrated Funding and Primary Care engagement are all work we already have underway to build upon.
I recently wrote a piece about integrated care and some of the NYGH experience in the Toronto Star which I have attached below.
There are still many questions in general about how Ontario Health Teams will function and more information will be announced in the days ahead. In the interim we will continue to work with our local health care partners and patients. I welcome your ideas and suggestions on how we can work collaboratively to meet the needs of our community. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President and CEO
March 15, 2019