May 15, 2019
In response to a new vision for health care in Ontario, over 50 independent healthcare organizations from across Huron Perth and area have submitted a formal Self-Assessment to the government in anticipation of being asked to establish an Ontario Health Team (OHT).
Representing areas such as EMS, Home Care and Community Support Services, Hospitals, Long Term Care, Mental Health and Addictions, Midwifery Services, Primary Care, and Residential Hospice, the team will ultimately be accountable to the government and the local population for the majority of publicly funded health services delivered across the region.
While many questions remain to be answered, the partners in this assessment are committed to identifying those key areas where their roles intersect, and to make sure that the unique needs of those individuals accessing services ultimately drive the changes necessary to improve the system. It is also recognized that, as a fluid process, additional partners will join the team moving forward.
“This is an exciting time in Ontario, as communities are being asked to develop models of care that are unique to their areas, and that support a broader health system strategy that puts the patient first while standardizing accountability province-wide,” says Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Williams. “The more we can integrate services around the people accessing and using our system, the more their individual care needs will be met. In attaining this goal, providers and consumers alike will be engaged to ensure all voices guide priority setting.”
Initially, the focus of the team will be on individuals who have chronic conditions, those accessing palliative care supports and individuals of all ages in need of mental health and addiction services. Efforts will also focus on: defining shared governance accountabilities between the partners, including the important leadership role of clients, patient partners and residents; and, on identifying digital health opportunities that will make services more accessible.
Once all self-assessments have been reviewed, the government is expected to formally invite a number of applications from across the province, with the first OHTs to be announced in the fall. From there, Teams will be continually announced until such time as all qualifying providers are part of an OHT.