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OPSEU welcomes community health care reform


(TORONTO) – “The latest phase in the reform of health care in Ontario, announced yesterday, is a welcome step in the right direction,” the president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says.

Under the proposal from Health and Long-Term Care Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins, the services that Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) provide will be uploaded to 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).

“Over two decades of tinkering with health care delivery, we’ve seen services fragmented, patient care eroded and the private sector enriched,” said Thomas. “The quality and quantity of services that different CCACs provide can vary wildly, because the funding model is flawed, and there are no universal service guidelines.

“We believe taking CCACs out of the equation and putting these services into the hands of the LHINs is the right way to go. This will better ensure that all Ontario patients have access to the best possible care when and where they need it.

“We hope the restructuring will mean more taxpayer dollars actually go to patient care. I also hope and expect that the private sector’s role in public health care will be radically curtailed or completely eliminated. The Auditor General says the public sector does it cheaper. We agree.”

The government has said there will be no layoffs of CCAC staff. Further, CCAC workers will be full participants in the government’s consultation on the discussion paper, particularly in terms of implementation.

Lucy Morton, Chair of OPSEU’s Community Health Care Professionals Division, was pleased that the frontline staff of CCACs were acknowledged for their valuable expertise in providing essential health care services. “We will continue to play a key role in providing community health care and plan to be part of the transformation for health care services in Ontario,” she said.

OPSEU represents over 1,100 workers in five of the province’s 14 CCACs. They figure among the 45,000 frontline health care workers who belong to the union.


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Lucy Morton