Ontario Taking Further Steps to Support Integrated Patient Care

Published on March 18, 2021

Ontario Taking Further Steps to Support Integrated Patient Care

The Ontario government is taking further steps to build an integrated, connected health care system centred around the needs of patients. Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, issued orders under the Connecting Care Act, 2019 to transfer the Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) and non-patient care functions from the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) to Ontario Health. The transfers will take effect on April 1, 2021.

"Over the past year, we have seen more than ever how important it is for health service providers to work together as one integrated team to deliver high-quality care to patients all across our province," said Minister Elliott. "As we continue to move forward with these thoughtful, incremental changes to modernize home and community care, there will be no disruption to patient care."  

On February 25, 2020, the government announced its plan to modernize the delivery of home and community care with Ontario Health Teams gradually assuming responsibility for care delivery within an integrated and patient-centred service model. At the onset of the pandemic, the province paused the planned transfer of non-patient care LHIN functions to Ontario Health to ensure the stability of the health care system and to focus health care resources on responding to COVID-19. Given the complexity of Ontario's organ and tissue donation system, the transfer of TGLN was also paused to ensure there would be no disruption to patients and families involved with organ and tissue donation.

Ontario is now resuming this process in order to break down long-standing barriers and allow for the seamless coordination of services for patients. Following the transfer, to ensure the ongoing stability of services while home and community care transitions into Ontario Health Teams, LHINs will begin operating under a new business name, Home and Community Care Support Services, to reflect a singular mandate to deliver patient care. During the transition, patients and caregivers will continue to access home and community care services in the same way and use the same contacts.

During this time TGLN will also transfer into Ontario Health. Services to patients and families involved with organ and tissue donation will continue uninterrupted. Continuity of executive leadership will support local health system response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"These transfers signal an important step forward in the modernization of our health system, says Matthew Anderson, President and CEO of Ontario Health. "As one unified organization, Ontario Health is well positioned to improve the delivery of integrated care and to connect and coordinate the health care system better for all Ontarians. I just want to emphasize that there will be no changes to how patients access home and community care or long-term care home placement services and there will be no changes to their regular contacts."