Ontario has begun the process of merging the health agencies like Cancer Care Ontario and eHealth under one umbrella and firing the CEOs of nine Local Health Integration Networks.
The province’s 14 LHINs and six health agencies will be consolidated into a new super agency called Ontario Health for an estimated $350 million a year in savings.
As a preliminary step in the process, Health Minister Christine Elliott announced today that five of those six agencies will transfer to Ontario Health as of Dec. 2.
Trillium Gift of Life Network, which is responsible for organ and tissue donation and transplantation services, will be transferred later.
Elliott stresses that these changes won’t have any effect on patients and more importantly employees who will continue to be gainfully employed at existing well-paid positions.
The government has said the LHINs will eventually be eliminated entirely, but for now five CEOs will remain on to oversee different regions until the merger is complete.
Over the summer, the government announced that 416 people in “back-office positions” at the health agencies, including communications, planning, and financial services, were being laid off, while another 409 vacant positions were being eliminated.
The community and home care work of the LHINs will eventually be done by Ontario Health Teams, local care co-ordination organizations being set up with an aim of helping patients better navigate the system.
The teams will be responsible for all of a patient’s care, including primary care, emergency, home and community care, palliative care, residential long-term care, and mental health and addictions services.
The other agencies transferring into Ontario Health are Health Quality Ontario, Health Shared Services Ontario and HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency. -CINEWS