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Showing posts from February, 2014

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 is supposed to develop a standardized approach to the delivery of non-urgent transportation services throughout the LHIN.  

While EMS had provided much of the inter-facility transfers in the past, over the last 14 years that has changed, after the Mike Harris Progressive Conservative government introduced legislation in 2000 allowing hospitals to use for-profit "patient transfer" c…

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 with the LHINs, but two stand out. First, they have been charged with centralizing, privatizing, and cutting local hospital services and, second, they have distanced elected government officials from decisions to reduce, privatize or centralize local health care services. In ot…