Tag Archives: Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN

Why are six LHINs still afraid to let the community speak directly to their boards?

The Local Health Integration Networks spend a lot of time talking about community engagement.

In his 2010 report The LHIN Spin, the Ontario Ombudsman stated “the reality of community decision-making has fallen far short of the political spin.”

Andre Marin writes: “there are no clear minimum standards for soliciting community views on systematic priorities or specific integration plans, and different LHINs interpret their public outreach obligations differently.”

Marin picked up on the common complaint that while the LHINs regularly take steps to obtain local stakeholder views on the general state of the health care system, the performance has been less than adequate when it comes to changes that “have direct immediate impact on the lives of local residents.”

Following that 2010 report, the province issued a toolkit in the following year that proposed guidelines on LHIN community engagement.

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Fun with funding – for profit “envelope” gets biggest share of increase

Provincial long-term care funding is delivered to Ontario’s nursing homes bundled in what the Ministry likes to call “envelopes.” These figures are allocated for each resident under care.

There is an envelope for nursing and personal care, another for program and support services, one for raw food costs, and a fourth for accommodations.

August 9 the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN sent out a memo outlining the increase in funding for each of these envelopes.

The per diem for nursing and personal care will rise by 1 per cent – or 86 cents – to $86.91. The per diem for program and support services will rise by just 8 cents to $8.43. Despite rapidly rising food costs, homes will only get 22 cents more per day to provide three meals, snacks and drinks. Homes receive $7.68 daily for raw food costs. The biggest winner will be the accommodations envelope, which will rise by $1.09 to $52.17.

Guess which of the four envelopes for-profit homes are allowed to draw profit from? If you guessed accommodations, you would be correct.

Given all the problems with care and support in Ontario’s nursing homes, this appears to be a very odd priority.

Wealth, age and geography should be significant factors in “ranking” LHIN performance

According to the Hamilton Spectator, the three wealthiest regions of the province have the best health results despite the lowest per capita health funding, a blatant reminder of the link between income and health.

These three LHINs also happen to be adjacent to Toronto, where many patients cross LHIN boundaries to seek care.

It also tells us that tackling poverty could have a substantial impact on public health care costs.

Does that make these three regions the best run LHINs? Not necessarily.

Unfortunately, the newspaper’s ranking of the 14 Local Health Integration Networks may not be entirely fair given the emphasis on population health in those standings.

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