On December 17, 2015, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) released a discussion paper which outlines the Ministry’s proposals to integrate the health care system. Entitled Patients First: A Proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Health Care in Ontario, the paper aims to improve access to primary care, standardize and strengthen home and community care that will include the dissolution of the current Community Care Access Centres (CCAC) Boards with the LHINs assuming all their functions. The discussion paper proposes expanding the LHINs’ mandate to include:
- primary care planning
- performance management;
- home and community care management and service delivery; and
- developing formal linkages with public health to improve population and public health planning.
A key component outlined in the discussion paper is the MOHLTC’s plans to seek input and advice on how to integrate service improvements, including in community mental health and addictions services. As a partner in the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Council, CMHA Ontario is pleased that the government will look to the Council for advice on enhancing access and improving overall performance of mental health and addiction services. We look forward to working with government to strengthen patient-centered health care so that Ontarians living with a mental health or addictions issue will get help they need, when they need it, across the lifespan.
For more information on the new discussion paper, visit the MOHLTC website.