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Application process continues for Ontario Health Team

Ministry of Health expected to make decision this fall

Supporters of the local application for an Ontario Health Team (OHT) are eagerly awaiting a decision from the Ministry of Health.

The team made up of 17 Durham-based organizations submitted its application earlier last month.

Organizations involved with the proposal include Alzheimer Society Durham Region; Community Care Durham; Lakeridge Health; Grandview Children’s Centre; Carea Community Health Centre; March of Dimes Canada; Durham Region; and VON Durham, among others.

It is expected the ministry will announce the first round of OHTs before the end of 2019.

Under the People’s Healthcare Act of 2019, the Ford government introduced the concept of OHTs.

According to the Ministry of Health’s website, these teams will “provide a new way of organizing and delivering care that is more connected to patients in their local communities.”

If approved, Durham OHT members would share the responsibility of delivering all health services in the geographic area.

As outlined in the submission, the initial focus will be on improving service delivery and care for two high needs groups: older adults living with frailty and individuals living with complex conditions (including children and youth), with a focus on mental health and addictions.

The submission also included plans for improving home and community care and

access to digital health. As the Durham OHT evolves, a patient partnering office will be established, which will offer standardization for patient experience processes and improve coordination and system-navigation services so patients are able to access care when and where they need it.

“The OHT application process has presented us with an opportunity to connect with providers and the Durham Region community to collaboratively develop a new vision for the future of healthcare in the region,” said Matthew Anderson, Lakeridge Health President and CEO. “We are excited to continue working with the partners and supporters of the Durham OHT to create an integrated health system focused on the people we serve.”