A group of local health care professionals and service providers have been selected to help pioneer the provincial government’s vision for a revamped health care system across Ontario.
In an announcement on Friday (Dec. 6), it was revealed that the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative has been successful with its application to become an Ontario Health Team. In attendance at the Dufferin County Paramedic Service base in Orangeville, Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones noted the local Collaborative is one of the first 24 teams to be approved under the new model.
“I know how hard the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Health Team has worked towards the goal of becoming an OHT,” Ms. Jones, currently Ontario’s Solicitor General, said. “We began with an excellent foundation of collaboration in our community, between all the services who provide patient care, and we will continue to build on our experiences to improve patient outcomes.”
In total, 36 different health care-related agencies as well as numerous local family physicians, have come together to form this new Collaborative. According to Ms. Jones, this new model will better connect patients and health care and service providers in our community. Through the new OHT model, she adds, patients will experience easier transitions from one provider to another.
The move was initiated by Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott last February, when she announced plans to develop a new super-agency called Ontario Health, which will effectively consolidate the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) operating across the province, as well as other provincial agencies such as Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario, and Trillium Gift of Life Network. While Minister Elliott stressed at the time that this move “is not a financial exercise”, it is expected to save the Province approximately $200 million annually by 2021.
In her message to residents of the Hills of Headwaters region, Minister Elliott promised the formation of a local Ontario Health Team would be a game-changer for those who need to access health care services in the area.
“This is an exciting time for health care in Ontario as we finally break down the long-standing barriers that have prevented care providers from working directly with each other to support patients throughout their health care journey,” Minister Elliott said. “Together, with our health care partners, the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health Team will play an essential role in delivering on our commitment to end hallway health care, and building a connected and sustainable public health care system centred on the needs of patients.”
Minister Elliott believes the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative will create a local health care system that provides coordinated care for patients, reduces wait times and will lead to better health outcomes for patient.