Rick Blickstead and I presented a brief to the Standing Committee on Social Policy of the Ontario Legislature January 30 on the LHINs (Local Health Integration Networks). We argued that the LHINs had significant potential to provide more integrated and community-driven health care planning and delivery. But this will only be possible if they:
- are able to effectively represent the diversity of interests and communities in their regions and prove themselves accountable to those communities;
- develop planning, priority setting and resource allocation processes that reflect community interests and encourage wide participation;
- successfully build on the coordinating networks and other local initiatives that have been built up over the years, fill gaps, foster innovations and experiments in each and every LHIN, and share the insights and lessons gained in those innovations widely;
- really do create a seamless and responsive continuum of care for all; and
- address the pervasive social and economic inequality that has such an adverse impact on health at the same time as they are developing more integrated and responsive care.
*Bob Gardner, Director – Public Policy