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Ontario announces new health teams, including one for Hastings and Prince Edward counties

Ontario's Health Minister, Christine Elliott was on hand in Tweed to announce the creation of 8 new health teams. Paul Soucy / Global News

There was a big announcement Friday concerning health care in the region, and how it will be delivered in the future.

Health Minister Christine Elliott was in Tweed, Ont., this afternoon to announce the creation of eight new health teams that will oversee health-care services for patients and can respond to future pandemic scenarios.

One of the teams will oversee Hastings and Prince Edward Counties.

Read more: Burnt-out health-care workers prepare to take on Alberta’s COVID-19 patients

The Ford government is moving ahead with plans to create a new health team system, overseeing health-care delivery for patients in dozens of regions across the province.

“When groups work together as part of an Ontario Health Team, they know where the gaps in service are, and they know how to fix them,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.

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“They’re working together to make sure it’s a complete system for people so people never feel they’re being left out of the health-care system.”

One of the eight newly-created health teams will focus on health-care delivery in Hastings and Prince Edward counties, including the cities of Belleville and Quinte West.

They’ll be in charge of everything from coordinating hospital care for patients to finding people long-term care placements.

“It represents, I believe, a major step forward in ensuring a coordinated, efficient way to provide health care to our citizens and the larger patient community,” Hastings County Warden Rick Phillips said.

The teams will also take charge of pandemic recovery efforts in their respective regions.

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“They will have a lot of influence,” Elliott told reporters in Tweed. “They told us since the beginning of me taking on this job that we know what to do just let us get out of the way.

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“Queen’s Park can let us do our job. That’s exactly what the idea behind Ontario Health Teams is.”

She says the creation of these health teams will also get a funding boost of $9 million.

They are replacing the Local Health Integration Networks, which the government complained were too bureaucratic.

Elliott says 50 health teams have been created so far, with a promise to offer patients seamless transitions between the care they need.

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