Questions remain for Windsor-Essex with Ford's planned health system changes

Ford government introducing legislation to form super agency called 'Ontario Health'

Ford government to create new super agency, Ontario Health

Ontario government officials struggled to explain the benefit of new healthcare legislation the Ford government introduced in the provincial legislature on Tuesday, arriving to brief reporters without the document itself nor any supporting documentation and deferring on questions about cost to implement, savings to be had, and targets to improve patient care.

Elliott didn't say if the government expects to save money through the agency consolidation, but noted Ontario spends 42 cents of every dollar on health care, and studies show the province isn't getting good value for it.

Ontario's Progressive Conservative government is planning to merge the province's 20 health agencies into one and will create up to 50 local health teams to co-ordinate patient care - major moves that will be felt in London, a medical capital in Southwestern Ontario.

Global News has learned the Ontario government will be announcing plans to reform the province's healthcare system on Tuesday. "I think if we're going to make a massive change to health care, we need to make sure those people who work in the health-care system, everybody from our nurses and doctors to administrators and maintenance people have to be able to look at this and have a say". Whereas, home care, from a funding perspective, is probably the most underdeveloped part of the health-care system. "Today, hospital overcrowding is widely recognized as one of the biggest challenges facing Ontario's health system".

The proposed law will do away with 14 local health integration networks (LHINS), which now oversee home care and manage nursing home waiting lists, and absorb the functions of six existing agencies. For instance, the new legislation calls for wider sharing of patient's electronic health record, so that everyone who cares for a patient has the ability to see a full picture of their experience.

"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.

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It claimed that the mortuary vehicle, which was from Kings and Queens Funeral services, was brought to the church by the family. The church further said it did not speak with Elliot or his supposed family prior to their arrival at the church.

Ontario's renewed patient-centric approach is paired with historic investments in long-term care for seniors and improved mental health and addictions services for families.

Integrating multiple provincial agencies and specialized provincial programs into a single agency to provide a central point of accountability and oversight for the health care system.

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. However, she noted that home care is now delivered by both public and private agencies. "Residents in Nipissing can be confident that there will be a sustainable health care system for them when and where they need it".

In Muskoka, health providers overseen by the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN included two hospital sites, four long-term care homes, five organizations provincial mental health and addictions services, and 16 agencies providing home and community care. That will be up to local teams, Elliott said. "This will enable local teams of health care providers to know and understand each patient's needs and provide the appropriate, high-quality connected care Ontarians expect and deserve", said Elliott.

"This morning's press conference did not allay our concerns about opening up our public health care system to private, for profit, motivated corporations, " she said. "This creates confusion for both patients and providers trying to navigate the health care system". "I don't think there is quite as much to (the announcement) as they would like to have us believe".

There was no word on job cuts, but talk is of "understanding the assets in the system" and making decisions that best serve the agency, including on the level of staffing it needs.

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