The new Ontario Tory plan for health care is simple – eliminate the Local Health Integration Networks and the Community Care Access Centres and let between 30-40 “hub” hospitals run the health care system – or at least the bits not run by the municipalities or the doctors.
The new PC Caucus white paper, Paths To Prosperity: Patient-centered Health Care, is thin on specifics and long on rhetoric – much of it borrowed surprisingly from the McGuinty government. Aside from attacks on the LHINs and the CCACs, the broader strokes are not that different from the government’s own plan, including the Triple Aim we continually hear so much about. The “Triple Aim” sets goals to enhance patient quality and satisfaction, improve population health and reduce costs. Who could be against that?
While dumping the LHINs and the CCACs, the Tories would create physician-led “Primary Care Committees” which would link to the hospital hubs. The role of these committees is not clear beyond giving physicians more of a say in how the health system runs and somehow charging them with scrutinizing their own performance. How nice.
While this plan appears to centralize decision-making functions to the hospitals, the Tories counter that this represents a “decentralized and delayered” system. At the same time they sing from the George-Smitherman-Career-Memorial integration songbook. Decentralize and integrate? Confused? We all should be.