A Milestone for Ontario's Health Care System
TORONTO, March 30 /CNW/ - The Toronto Central Local Health Integration
Network (LHIN) today celebrated a critical milestone. Effective April 1, 2007,
the 14 LHINs across the province will assume full responsibilities of
planning, funding and integrating local health services.
First announced by the government in 2004, LHINs will now be responsible
for allocating funds to improve health services, reduce wait times and ensure
better coordination between health providers.
LHINs will oversee two-thirds of Ontario's health care budget - nearly
$20 billion a year and, working closely with citizens and health care
partners, will determine the health care priorities and services required in
their local communities.
"Our government is standing by its commitment to build a health care
system around the needs of our communities and local patients," said Health
and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman. "LHINs will make it easier for
patients to access the different health services they need and to find their
way through a complex health system. LHINs will break down the barriers that
patients face and ensure that local health care decisions are made with
patients' needs in mind."
LHINs will allocate funding and coordinate services between hospitals,
long-term care homes, Community Care Access Centres (CCACs), community support
service agencies, mental health and addiction agencies, divested psychiatric
hospitals and Community Health Centres (CHCs). The ministry retains
responsibility for overall planning of the health system and a number of
provincial programs including health human resources and public health.
Building on the strengths of local health organizations, LHINs allow for
better matching of health care resources to community needs. "LHINs are
changing the way our health care system is managed," said Smitherman. "They
will, for the first time, engage local residents in the planning and
delivering of health care, to create even better access to quality care and
reduce wait times."
That process has already started. "Patients in the Toronto Central LHIN
can expect to see improvement in health care service delivery over the next
three years," says Barry Monaghan, Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto
Central LHIN. "Last November we published a 2007-2010 Integrated Health
Service Plan with input from more than 7,000 individuals and 200 organizations
in the past year. The plan outlines local integration priorities for our area
in nine specific areas of focus. Anyone can get a copy of that plan from our
website www.torontocentrallhin.on.ca or by calling 416-921-7453.
"The plan will be updated each year based on input from residents and
health service providers and we are involving residents in the implementation
For further information:
For further information: Sandra Fawcett, Toronto Central Local Health
Integration Network, (416) 969-3281