Ontario’s public hospitals are private not-for-profit corporations. Most are built and operated with public money and sign accountability agreements with the provincially appointed Local Health Integration Networks.
At any time the Minister of Health can take over a hospital, appointing a supervisor who assumes the power of the CEO and board as she did this month in Iroquois Falls.
There used to be a time when most hospitals sold “memberships.” A membership was largely limited to voting to ratify a nomination to the board and getting to ask questions at the hospital’s annual or general meetings.
Over the years many hospitals have transitioned to self-appointing boards, cutting the public out of any direct power relationship, as limited as it may be.
Ontario is unusual in preserving individual hospital boards at all. Many provinces run their hospitals through more centralized bodies, such as directly through their Ministry of Health or by a regional health authority.