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Will LHINs take over responsibility for public health units?

Amidst the storm of criticism of Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), the Minister of Health and LTC, Deb Matthews, has now said that bringing doctors and health units under the LHIN umbrella will likely be discussed when a much-anticipated legislative review of the LHIN system eventually takes place.  (This review, previously scheduled for this year, has now been put off until after the next election.)

The LHINs have, slowly but surely, taken over responsibility for hospitals, nursing homes, home care, community health clinics, and other community health services.  But doctors, public health units, and ambulance services remain outside of their dominion.

The doctors probably won't tolerate having to put up with the LHINs -- they will want to deal directly with the province (the people with actual political power, not just the flak catchers). The public health units (currently under municipal control) are more of a question, to my mind. They already get 75% of their approved funding from the province and have had problems recruiting chief medical officers of health. 

Matthews is not reported to have mentioned anything about ambulance services (EMS) which are also under municipal government control and get 50% of their approved funding from the province.


dallan@cupe.ca

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