THUNDER BAY, ON --- February 8, 2013 ---The North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) today released a plan to promote a more integrated health system that improves the quality and accessibility of care throughout Northwestern Ontario. The Integrated Health Services Plan (IHSP), the third to be released by the North West LHIN since its inception in 2005, covers the time period from 2013 to 2016.
“This Integrated Health Services Plan is all about integration and transformation,” says Laura Kokocinski, CEO of the North West LHIN. “It’s about encouraging and supporting our health service providers to work together as a team. We need providers to continue to improve their communication, coordination and collaboration with partners to ensure that all patients and clients receive the best possible care, and that nobody falls through the cracks.”
The North West LHIN Integrated Health Services Plan 2013-2016 (also known as the IHSP III) is the product of significant community engagement. Between 2009 and 2012, the North West LHIN engaged with 18,620 individuals, groups and organizations. The feedback received was instrumental in designing this plan that reflects the needs and priorities of the people of the Northwest.
The focus on integration and transformation is very much in line with the provincial priorities identified in the 2012 Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Action Plan for Health Care, as well as the LHIN’s own Health Services Blueprint, which was released March, 2012.
“One of the key priorities in the North West LHIN Integrated Health Services Plan 2013-2016 is to advance the recommendations contained in the Health Services Blueprint, notably the implementation of an integrated service delivery model that will see health care organized and delivered at three levels – local, district and regional,” Kokocinski says.
In addition to a commitment to implement the recommendations in the Blueprint, the IHSP III contains a number of high level strategies designed to advance both provincial and local health system objectives over the next three years.
The plan identifies four priorities to drive transformational change in our region:
1) Building an Integrated Health Care System
2) Building an Integrated eHealth Framework
3) Improving Access to Care
4) Enhancing Chronic Disease Prevention and Management
Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) were created in 2005, and formalized through the Local Health System Integration Act in 2006. The LHIN mandate is to manage the planning, integration, performance and funding of the health care system in Ontario.
LHINs do not directly provide health care services; rather, they work with health service providers and community members to set priorities, plan health care services in their regions respectively, make decisions about funding, and complete performance reviews.
Ontario’s LHINs are responsible for the allocation of about half of the province’s health care expenditures, or about $22 billion in funding as of 2011.
The Local Health System Integration Act, 2006, requires all of Ontario’s 14 LHINs to develop and publish Integrated Health Services Plans every three years.
Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care, which is supported by the North West LHIN Integrated Health Services Plan 2013-2016, identifies three focus areas:
o Keeping Ontario Healthy
o Faster Access and a Stronger Link to Family Health Care
o Right care, Right time, Right place
For more information on the North West LHIN, please visit our website at www.northwestlhin.on.ca.
What is an Integrated Health Services Plan?
Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) were established in 2006 under the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006. The Act requires all LHINs to produce a three-year Integrated Health Services Plan (IHSP) through a community engagement process, outlining their priorities and strategies for planning, managing and funding of the health care system in their regions respectively.
This Integrated Health Services Plan is the North West LHIN’s third, for the period April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2016. It builds upon earlier planning work and strategies implemented in the 2007-2010 North West LHIN Integrated Health Services Plan, and the North West LHIN Integrated Health Services Plan 2010-2013.
There is significant transformation underway in Ontario’s health care system to address a person-centred model of care, taking into consideration population-based health planning, an aging population and limited resources. At the provincial level, Ontario is pursuing an aggressive change agenda.
In January 2012, the province unveiled its Action Plan for Health Care, a comprehensive strategy designed to deliver high quality and cost-effective health care services that are patient-centred, integrated, and sustainable.
The Action Plan identifies three areas of focus:
1) Keeping Ontario Healthy
2) Faster Access and a Stronger Link to Family Health Care
3) Right Care, Right Time, Right Place