NDP question Ford government's proposal to reduce LHINs

Ontario’s New Democrat health critic is questioning the Ford government’s idea of dissolving a number of Local Health Integration Networks across the province.

Progressive Conservatives considering plan to reduce number of LHINS from 14 to 5

Ontario's New Democrat health critic is questioning the Ford government as it considers reducing the number of Local Health Integration Networks across the province.

CBC News has learned the Progressive Conservatives are looking at cutting the number of LHINs from 14 to five.

They LHINs were created in 2007 by former Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty. Their mandate was to improve the integration of local health care services.

NDP health critic and Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas says she doesn't see how the change would save money.

"The planning will still need to be done, the signing of agreements will still need to be done," she said.

"Right now, all of the people who need to be placed in a long term care home, all of this is handled by the LHINs. So is homecare. All that work will still need to be done. It will now be done in super bureaucracy rather than 14 LHINs."

Gelinas adds regional areas of Ontario should maintain control of their health care needs.

"Having people at Queen's Park making health decisions for us [in northern Ontario] has never worked in the past," she said.

France Gélinas is the MPP for Nickel Belt and the NDP health critic. (Jean-Loup Doudard/ Radio-Canada)

"Giving local people a voice was a good thing. We're losing our local voice and we're creating super bureaucracy."

In a statement to CBC News, the Minister of Health and Long-term Care, Christine Elliott says only that problems with the LHINs started under the former government.

"For 15 years, the Liberal government failed to develop a comprehensive health care strategy and we were left with a fractured health care system that is built for bureaucracy and not for patients," she said.

"Our government for the people was elected to put the patient at the centre of a sustainable health care system built for the future. We are committed to that transformation."

With files from Angela Gemmill


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.