Diablogue is about to take a hiatus to finish out 2011. With more than 400 postings, you may want to check out some of the stories from the last 24 months. Or you may want take advantage of the festive atmosphere and take a break with us.
Next year promises to be a challenging one with the potential for major change in health care:
- Don Drummond will release his Commission’s report on reform of the public sector. He has already said that 40 per cent of his work has been on health care.
- An all-party legislative committee will review and make recommendations for changes to the Local Health Integration Networks. The pundits are predicting fewer but more powerful LHINs. Some are suggesting we should watch for a merger between the LHINs and the Community Care Access Centres (CCAC).
- The negotiations for a new Federal-Provincial health accord will pick up steam. Will the provinces continue to receive a 6 per cent funding escalator from Stephen Harper now that he has a majority in Parliament? Or will he renege on his promise of a two-year extension given his own budget pressures?
- Will the government be as focused on ALC? Alternate level of care or “ALC” patients are those who have completed their hospital acute care but are not well enough to go home. To what extent will the government follow the Walker Report from June and build community supports for these patients? Or will it all fall apart as the McGuinty government pushes forward its austerity agenda?
- The government is slowly realizing that primary care holds many of the keys when it comes to health care reform. Are we going to see doctors made more accountable for their performance? Are we going to see more primary care brought under the jurisdiction of the LHINs? And what about the new Ontario Medical Association contract to be negotiated in 2012?
- And what about funding? Will the investments in the last decade be enough to carry health care through some lean years, or will we see a replay of the Harris years where ambulances cycled the streets looking for an open ER?
We’ll be here providing news, comment, analysis, and debate starting in January. We hope you’ll be here too!