2/9/12

Will LHINs actually have much control over the doctors?

A lot has been made about the announcement in the Ontario Health Action Plan that the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) would expand their role to include the doctors.

But in the fine print, the government did not actually promise to hand over funding responsibilities for the family doctors to the LHINs. Au contraire, they specifically promised  that the government would continue to have a funding role for the doctors.

The government only promised to 'integrate' family health care into the LHINs, and then mumbled something about identifying some model that brings planning and accountability "for the full patient journey" under the LHINs.

Well, as the LHINs have done not too much planning for any health sector, this may not amount to much.  The LHINS most powerful tool has been money.  The government has kept the major portion of the new health care cash for itself and passed on only scraps for the LHINs to dish out to the hospitals and other health sectors.  The lack of new cash from the LHINs has forced hospitals to restructure and cut.

But that, it seems, is not part of the plan for the docs.

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