Strengthen the Power of the LHINs! (They are kidding, right?)

Now that  bothersome provincial election is over with, the powers that be are talking more frankly about health care restructuring. There was, of course, the musings from Don Drummond (the Bay Street advisor to the provincial government on public sector reform) about health care "structural redesign".  But we have also gotten this call to strengthen the power of regional health authorities (either LHINs or a some new form of regional health authority) to make changes and consolidate. 

Strengthen and empower regional healthcare - whatever the structure. Government should strengthen Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), or their next iteration, by giving them the autonomy and discretionary funds - in short, the power - to do the work they are mandated to do. That means letting them shift funding to meet the particular needs of the population they serve. That means consolidating agencies, but with respect and assurance for local input.

This was the first recommendation in the media release for the recent Change Foundation report on health care reform (Winning Conditions) .  The Change Foundation was started with a $50 million grant from the Ontario Hospital Association.

There isn't much confidence in the LHINs to restructure health care. So they have a credibility issue right there.

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