I have profound concerns about the potential loss of local health services and the chaos in my workplace that will be caused by the Ontario Liberals’ new Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).
The LHINs have the potential to severely restrict local access to services by forcing patients in our area to travel out of town for many services. The LHINs also will open the door to what is called “competitive bidding” where private businesses will compete in the lowest price to win contracts to deliver an increasing proportion of our health services.
Further, the LHINs are not local. Control of health care in our region will be in the hands of an unelected board appointed by the government and answerable to the Health ministry and cabinet—not the local community.
Our local MPP and municipal leaders no longer will have the influence to affect changes to decisions about health services delivery and program cuts in our community. It will be in the hands of the unelected LHINs.
So when LHINs move services from our town to another city, what recourse will patients have? None, unless we act now and stop the LHINs legislation in its present form.
Bill 36, which will set up these large health networks, is scheduled for committee hearings this winter. I ask your readers to please consider carefully the changes coming with these LHINs.
Please call or e-mail your MPP today. It’s our public health care at stake. Let’s act now.
Thunder Bay, Ont.