Central West LHIN Takes On Increased Responsibility of Local Health System to Improve Care for Ontarians

    A Milestone for Ontario's Health Care System

    BRAMPTON, ON, April 2 /CNW/ - The Central West Local Health Integration
Network (LHIN) today celebrated a critical milestone. Effective April 1, LHINs
will assume their full responsibilities of planning, funding and integrating
local health services.
    First announced by the government in 2004, LHINs will be responsible for
allocating funds to improve health services, reduce wait times and ensure
better coordination between health providers.
    "This marks an historic shift in the way health care services have been
delivered in the past," says Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO, Central West LHIN. "We've
been granted an exceptional opportunity as a LHIN and as health care providers
serving our region to work collaboratively and transparently with community
residents to ensure the services we are delivering are truly responsive to
their needs."
    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 plan, integrate, coordinate and fund local health services
including Community Care Access Centres (CCACs), community health centres,
community support services, hospitals, long-term care homes, and mental health
and addiction agencies within a specific geographic area. The ministry retains
responsibility for overall planning of the health system and a number of
provincial programs including health human resources and public health.
    "It's important to note that as a LHIN, we are not going to be running
health care services in our region," notes Lowi-Young. "What we are and will
be doing is working together with these services to make sure that health care
planning is done collaboratively, that opportunities for integrating health
care services are realized, and that the services we are providing are the
ones that best meet local residents' needs."
    Building on the strengths of local health organizations, LHINs allow for
better matching of health care resources to community needs.
    Patients in the Central West LHIN can expect to see a real improvement in
health care. Specifically patients will:

    -  Benefit from different health providers working together to care for
    -  Experience fewer delays and disruptions, and shorter wait times in
       their health care services
    -  Receive better, safer care from the health professionals that are best
       suited to provide that care
    -  Receive better information about health services in their community,
       and have the ability to compare their wait times with other LHINs
    -  Experience a health system that works better because there is less
       waste and duplication.

    "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."

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Robert J. Longphee, Senior
Consultant, Community Engagement & Communications, Central West Local Health
Integration Network, Tel.: (905) 455-1281 ext. 235, Email:

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