Anchor Ontario's Health System in Primary Care
For years, RNAO has been urging the provincial government to strengthen our publicly-funded not-for-profit health system and make it more responsive to the public's needs. In 2012, we issued our report Enhancing Community Care for Ontarians (ECCO), with recommendations to transfer the funding, contract management, monitoring and evaluation of Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) to Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and transition the province's 3,500 care co-ordinators who currently work in CCACs to primary care. In 2014, we re-issued our report to insist change is urgently needed.
Since then, RNAO has made tremendous progress, and on June 2nd, Bill 210 - Patients First Act was introduced.
Bill 210 Patients First Act
Patients First: A Proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Health Care
To strengthen health and health care in the province, Health Minister Eric Hoskin's released a discussion paper entitled "Patients First: A Proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Health Care". In the paper, Hoskins proposes that Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) assume responsibility for whole system planning, and performance accountability. In addition, he proposed major sectors of our system -- including public health, primary care, hospitals, home care and long-term care -- be aligned under one umbrella: LHINs. The report also credits RNAO's work and cites our ground-breaking report Enhancing Community Care for Ontarians (ECCO) by name.
Read Patients First: A Proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Health Care Read RNAO's Response to Patients First: A Proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Health Care
In separate letters to RNAO and Ontario nurses, Health Minister Eric Hoskins reiterated his promise to address access to primary care and supports at home and in the community.
Read Minister of Health and Long-Term Care's letter to Ontario's nurses Read Minister of Health and Long-Term Care's letter to RNAO
Enhancing Community Care for Ontarians (ECCO)
ECCO is a model that advances a robust foundation for community care and improves integration between all health sectors through a single health system planner and funder – the LHINs– and anchoring the health system in primary care. The ECCO model transitions current functions and roles of the CCACs into existing structures, organizes primary care entities and stimulates overall system planning, funding, performance and evaluation through the LHINs. ECCO believes that the health system must be anchored within primary care to advance primary health care for all through: health promotion, disease prevention, chronic disease management/prevention and mental health care. Equally important are addressing social/environment determinants of health and changes that enable nurses and all other regulated health professionals to work to their full scope of practice, a commitment to reducing structural duplication, and advancing system integration and alignment.
Ontario Primary Care Council (OPCC)
As part of the Ontario Primary Care Council (OPCC), RNAO is not alone in our commitment to strengthen primary care and create a stronger foundation for the delivery of primary care in the province. In partnership with seven provincial associations that represent primary care providers in this province, we continue to work improve population health, deliver people-centred services and strengthen our publicly funded health system.