On December 17, 2015, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (the “Ministry”) released its Patients First Proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Health Care in Ontario (the "Proposal").

The Proposal includes four key components, as follows:

  1. More effective integration of services and greater equity.  Make care more integrated and responsive to local needs, make Local Health Integration Networks (“LHINs”) responsible and accountable for all health service planning and performance, and identify smaller sub-regions as part of each LHIN to be the focal point for local planning, service management and delivery.
  2. Timely access to primary care, and seamless links between primary care and other services.  Bring the planning and monitoring of primary care closer to the communities where services are delivered.  LHINs, in partnership with local clinical leaders, would take responsibility for primary care planning and performance management.
  3. More consistent and accessible home and community care. Strengthen accountability and integration of home and community care.  Transfer direct responsibility for service management and delivery from the Community Care Access Centres to the LHINs.
  4. Stronger links between population and public health, and other health services.  Integrate local population and public health planning with other health services.  Formalize linkages between LHINs and public health units.

The Proposal also includes a series of discussion questions on each component of the Proposal. The Ministry is inviting feedback and comments from providers, patients, caregivers and the public, which can be submitted by email to health.feedback@ontario.ca or online through the Ministry’s website.

If implemented the Proposal will have legislative, corporate, structural and operational implications for the LHINs and healthcare service providers across the care continuum. If you wish to discuss the potential implications of the Proposal on your organization, please contact us.

Miller Thomson's Health Industry Group will continue to monitor any further developments and keep you apprised of further information as it becomes available.