Tag Archives: Standing Committee on Social Policy

LHIN Review: Unifying a system, dividing a community

You have to feel a little bit for the MPPs that are sitting on the all-party Standing Committee on Social Policy. Somehow in the sweet victory of election night it is unlikely the elated victors dreamed of this – spending hour upon hour in a room listening to a long succession of 15-minute presentations, frequently left with a minute at the end to ask a question and receive a somewhat truncated answer. If it weren’t for the question, the MPPs could probably just zone out at will.

We were in Kingston yesterday to make our recommendations to the Standing Committee on the thorny question of what to do with the Local Health Integration Networks.

The hearings were mandated by the legislation that created the LHINs. They were supposed to take place in 2011, but that timing was just not convenient to the Liberals who had a general election to fight. Talking about the LHINs was likely not the route to victory.

On this day one presenter told an MPP afterwards that she was impressed by her question. It demonstrated that somebody was actually listening. Clearly the expectations by the public are not all that high.

We have to admit we like the angry presenters better, not so much for the politics, but at least to keep us from nodding off. It’s not that the presenters were necessarily boring, but more of a question of just too much information.

Each person usually begins with a lengthy descriptor of where they fit within the health system, kind of a Where’s Waldo prerequisite.

We were by no means the exception to that rule, although on this day we erred on the angry side (even if the Blueberry pancakes were giving this writer kind of a nice warm feeling inside).

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LHINs should integrate with the Ministry of Health — Thomas

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas appears before the Standing Committee on Social Policy this morning in Kingston. The Queen’s Park Committee, made up of MPPs from all three parties, is conducting the review into the Local Health Integration Networks mandated in the original 2006 legislation. OPSEU is asking that the LHINs themselves formally integrate with the Ministry of Health and that “integration” proposals undergo a much more rigorous process, including detailed public disclosure. The full presentation is below:

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union represents more than 130,000 members. About a third work of those members work in a variety of health care settings, including hospitals, long-term care homes, ambulance, home care, mental health, independent diagnostics, community health centers, public health, and Canadian Blood Services.

We were the first union to sign up members at a Ontario Family Health Team.

We also represent health professionals in the province’s corrections system and Ontario Public Service members at the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

As a result we believe we have a unique 360 degree perspective on health integration.

OPSEU was among the first trade unions to warn of impending issues with the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).

In 2006 we warned that the LHINs would be used to deflect public criticism from the real decision-makers. That not only came true, but did much to damage the brand of the LHINs.

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