EDITORIAL: Smaller may prove better

December 12, 2019   ·   0 Comments

WHEN THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT announced its plan to overhaul the province’s health care system by replacing Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) with a single agency, Ontario Health, and 24 Ontario Health Teams (OHTs), there wasn’t a clue as to the size of the teams.

In a province with nearly 15 million residents, that would have meant the average OHT would have jurisdiction over more than 600,000 residents. 

When Mississauga’s OHT was the first picked, that seemed to fit the picture and when another five had been announced we were concerned that most of them had far more population than Dufferin-Caledon, the area proposed by the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative (HHC). But our fear that we would simply be lumped in with Brampton disappeared with last week’s confirmation that HHC had been approved and Brampton would instead be lumped in with Etobicoke.

It now appears that there may be up to 50 OHTs, with some covering large, thinly poplated parts of the province.

In the circumstances, it will be interesting to see whether the effectiveness of the large and small units will be monitored and whether the old “bigger is better” motto will be confirmed.

In our view, the opposite is more likely, and a case could be made to have, as here, teams based on the local constituency.

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