The North East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is asking northerners to help them get their priorities straight.
Earlier this summer, the regional health funding agency launched an online survey to see if northerners agree with the four main priorities the North East LHIN has put forward.
These priorities, originally developed through earlier public consultations, are increasing primary care co-ordination, increasing the co-ordination of transitions of care, facilitating realignment and system transformation, and increasing access to mental health and addictions programs.
If northerners agree this is what the LHIN should be focusing on in the future, the priorities will then form the basis of the North East LHIN's strategic plan — known as the integrated health service plan — for the years 2013-2016.
Cynthia Stables, the LHIN's senior adviser for community engagement and communications, said the survey, which takes about five minutes to complete, has been a “great success” so far.
“We have close to 800 surveys completed,” she said.
“We want to be really greedy and get some good numbers. We set out hoping we'd get 1,000 by October.
“We're now hoping we get more than that. The more people who participate, the better we can feel about those priorities being reflective of what people want and need.”
People even have the option of providing their comments as part of the survey, Stables said.
“It asks if you agree with these priorities, and then we ask if there's other priorities we think we should be focusing on,” she said.
“I just looked at the report. I've got about 12 pages of comments so far, which is fabulous.”
The North East LHIN isn't limiting its consultation to the survey, though.
“The survey is one tool,” Stables said.
“We're also going to be working with our Francophone partners to do engagement sessions with Francophone people, as well as with Aboriginal, First Nations and Metis people. We're going to do primary care engagements as well.”
Before the North East LHIN does anything, it's important to get the public's opinion first, she said.
“It's important because health care is a people business,” Stables said. “Health care only exists because people need the services. We need to be sure they have the right services.”
The integrated health services plan, where these priorities will ultimately end up, is a “road map” for where the North East LHIN is going, she said.
“Every year, we look at that integrated health service plan, and we say 'How have we done? Where are we in this road map to get us to success?'
“Everything we do throughout the year, we'll tie back to one of the priorities in the integrated health service plan.”
To access the survey, visit www.nelhin.on.ca and follow the links, or phone 1-866-906-5446 to receive a copy.
Posted by Arron Pickard