Ontario has reached another important milestone in our journey to build a connected and coordinated public health care system that starts and ends with the patient.

Transfer orders issued to non-Home and Community Care Vice Presidents and Directors at LHINs

On November 29, 2019 the Honourable Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, issued transfer orders under the Connecting Care Act, 2019, for non-Home and Community Care Vice Presidents and Directors of the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) into Ontario Health, effective December 2, 2019.

These transfers will help support the five Transitional Regional Leads plan for the eventual transition of LHIN functions into Ontario Health or to Ontario Health Teams, and to ensure that patient services continue uninterrupted.

With the importance of continuity of care top of mind, only non-Home and Community Care Vice Presidents and Director positions are transferring into Ontario Health at this time. LHINs will continue with their day-to-day work in their respective jurisdictions, including delivering home and community care and long-term care home placement services. There are no changes to how patients access these services, and their LHIN contacts remain the same.

Certain LHIN functions will eventually transition into Ontario Health over time based on a careful plan the Ministry of Health is developing with Ontario Health and the LHINsLHIN functions that involve delivering home and community care will eventually move to local Ontario Health Teams. Continuity of patient care throughout this process will remain a top priority.

Transfer orders for five transferring agencies now in effect

December 2, 2019 is also when the transfer orders issued to five provincial agencies on November 13, 2019 come into effect. As previously announced, the transferring agencies are: Cancer Care Ontario, Health Quality Ontario, eHealth Ontario, Health Shared Services Ontario, and HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency. There are no changes to the activities of the five agencies, with the exception of the Physician Assistant Career Start Program operated by the HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency. The Ministry of Health will be managing this program moving forward. More information on that program can be found on the Ministry’s website.

Current contracts, agreements and reporting obligations for all transferring agencies remain the same for the time being.

Given the complexity of Ontario’s organ and tissue donation system, the Trillium Gift of Life Network will transfer into Ontario Health at a later date to ensure that there will be no disruption to patients and families involved with organ and tissue donation.

Regulatory change

On January 1, 2020, a new regulation will come into effect under the Connecting Care Act, 2019 that would give the Minister of Health the authority to transfer the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) into Ontario Health.

A decision about whether the OTN would transfer into Ontario Health has yet to be made.

Services offered through OTN–including supporting direct patient care–remain unchanged.

This regulation helps further pave the way for digital-first approaches to health care in Ontario including virtual care, and improving the integration and efficiency of digital assets across the health system.