The first Ontario Health Team, the program introduced by the provincial government to replace the Local Health Integrated Networks, was announced by the Minister of Health in Ottawa on Friday.
The team, known as the Ottawa Health Team, is one of 24 new groups that are charged with implementing a new model of organizing and delivering health care in communities across the province.
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott was on hand today for the announcement and assured patients that the new system will make getting health services in the city much faster.
“I couldn’t be happier to tell you that today we’ve reached a real milestone in the creation of our Ontario public health teams,” said Elliott.
According to Elliott, patients already receiving services from the LHINs will still receive their services the same way. With this new team, she says, patients will simply receive services faster.
Elliott said integrating the several groups that participate in the LHIN’s, will clear a large portion of the bureaucratic red tape.
The first step in the process is to create a 24/7 care coordination service for, at first, a select group of patients which will later expand to all patients.
The program will take time to implement, says Elliot, with changes most-likely taking more than a year to put in place.
Elliott was unable to provide concrete numbers at the event in Ottawa, as to the cost of the project. She emphasized that the money is not the focus —its giving patients faster service than they would have received before.