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OPSEU Diablogue: Relationship building with the LHINs

Health care providers have found religion when it comes to involving patients in the planning and decision-making process. At this year’s OHA HealthAchieve every administrator was quick to extol the virtues of soliciting community participation. In a meeting in Belleville … Continue reading →

Defending Public Healthcare: Patient Transfer Changes Continue — Boon or Bust for EMS?

Another LHIN-based initiative to restructure  “non-urgent patient transfers” is underway. Non-urgent transfers are ambulance-like transfers for patients from hospital to hospital, from hospital to long-term care, or from hospital to home. While the cost of these transfers often simply come out of the hospital budget, austerity has made this more difficult.   The latest restructuring project is in the North East  – and is funded by the North East LHIN. Earlier this year, the government strongly endorsed a LHIN-wide plan for the South West.   As in the South West LHIN, the North East project (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Patient Transfer Changes Continue — Boon or Bust for EMS?

Defending Public Healthcare: LHINs Fall Short: Privatization and Cuts

Below is the recent submission of OCHU to the Standing Committee on Social Policy of the Ontario Legislature:The Ontario Council of Hospital Workers (OCHU/CUPE) represents 30,000 hospital and long-term care workers in 65 hospitals across Ontario. We represent food service workers, maintenance workers, housekeepers, Registered Practical Nurses, Personal Support Workers, administrative and office workers, and many more classifications.When Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) were established, we feared that they would provide cover for the government as they proceeded to regionalize, centralize, privatize, and cut health care services. Unfortunately, this has proven accurate.A number of problems have arisen (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: LHINs Fall Short: Privatization and Cuts

OPSEU Diablogue: LHINs should integrate with the Ministry of Health — Thomas

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas appears before the Standing Committee on Social Policy this morning in Kingston. The Queen’s Park Committee, made up of MPPs from all three parties, is conducting the review into the Local Health Integration Networks mandated … Continue reading →

OPSEU Diablogue: CCACs not entirely to blame for high home care administrative costs

What to do with the Community Care Access Centres? Yesterday’s Toronto Star column by Bob Hepburn suggests we should roll them into the Local Health Integration Networks and send the CCAC CEOs packing. The urge to spank the CCAC board … Continue reading →

OPSEU Diablogue: Want direct front line input into health planning? How about whistleblower protection?

A few years ago we were in discussion with the Central East Local Health Integration Network about the idea of having a number of consultative committees made up of unionized health professionals in each of the sub-regions. We sent out … Continue reading →

OPSEU Diablogue: Do LHINs need boards at all if they are simply to be the arm of the Ministry?

Tom Closson calls it the Goldilocks principle. What is the point where governance within our health system is “just right?” Writing in Healthy Debate, the former CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association points out that Ontario and Alberta are at … Continue reading →

OPSEU Diablogue: Should the LHINs really be the e-Harmony of health care providers?

When the province decided to call its most recent crown agencies Local Health Integration Networks, it was clear where the emphasis lay. Rather than plan a system based on need, it appears the primary function of the LHIN was to … Continue reading →

OPSEU Diablogue: Health Links attract huge audience at HealthAchieve

There was a kind of sliding sound and then a rattle as a woman fell to the floor during Tuesday afternoon’s session of the Ontario Hospital Association’s HealthAchieve. When someone asked if there was a doctor or nurse in the … Continue reading →

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Private Hospitals in Specialty Clinic Clothing

The provincial government’s mid-summer announcement that regulations under the Independent Health Facilities (IHF) Act will be drafted to permit “specialty clinics” raises some serious concerns. Changes in the LHINS enabling legislation will also be required. While the details are sparse the government’s stated goal is to permit the LHINs, Ontario’s regional health authorities, and Cancer Care Ontario to establish and fund clinics to provide services currently delivered in public hospitals. The government is committing that these new clinics will not harm a hospital’s ability to deliver services.

The official proposals are this general. Some best-guess inferences are: the IHF administration (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: De-integrating home support services in Ontario

Ontario has promised three million new hours of home care personal support services over the next three years. While it sounds like a lot, keep in mind that about 32 million hours of public home care are delivered annually and … Continue reading →

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: LHINs Undercut Integration

Even though I have not met the CEO of the Sault Hospital in northern Ontario I expect he is an honorable person with a difficult task: to justify the unjustifiable. It is on his orders that the Thessalon Hospital and Mathew’s Memorial Hospital, small rural hospitals, closed their doors to the local community for blood taking. Residents now have to drive 85 kilometers to a for-profit specimen collection center in Sault Ste. Marie.

A column in the Sault Star reports that the CEO said that the Laboratory Licensing Act somehow restricts hospitals from collecting specimens from community patients.

. . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: LHINs Undercut Integration

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Another Local Lab Service Lost

A column in the January 8 Sault Star documents a rural community losing its blood taking services. The Thessalon Hospital, serving Thessalon and area, a satellite hospital of Sault St. Marie Hospital, recently stopped taking blood samples from community patients. Residents in these areas must now drive an extra 85 kilometres to have their blood taken in the Sault. In bad weather conditions this is often a dangerous trip, and it is a long trip for people who are ill, especially cancer patients, kidney patients, heart patients and all others with chronic illnesses that require frequent blood work.

I was struck

. . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Another Local Lab Service Lost