The Ontario government unveiled legislation on Thursday that would overhaul how community and home care is delivered in the province. Under the new legislation, tabled by Health Minister Eric Hoskins, the existing community care access centre (CCAC) model would be dismantled and the role of local health integrated networks (LHINs) would be greatly expanded to include oversight of home and community care.
The proposed changes are designed to make it easier for patients to access the health-care system, regardless of where they live. According to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, this would be accomplished by establishing a formal link between local health units and LHINs, establishing a single phone number for residents to call when they need to find a new care provider closer to home and making transitions between the hospital, community care, mental health services and other services easier.
Under the current system, CCACs oversee home and community care. Many health experts have criticized the CCAC model for years, saying they deliver varying levels of care across the province and add an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy.
The proposed legislation, the Patients First Act, would give those responsibilities to the 14 LHINs located throughout the province. The integration should help to improve coordination of services and planning.
More to come