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Public hearings on the province's LHINs to begin in February

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Dec 16, 2013 - 2:53 PM |

The LHINs were supposed to be reviewed in March 2010

The Standing Committee on Social Policy — tasked with reviewing the province's Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) — will hold public hearings in Sudbury and Thunder Bay the week of Feb. 3, 2014.

The exact dates and locations for the hearings have not yet been announced, but NDP health critic and Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas said she was glad the long overdue review would finally get underway.

“This review was to be completed in 2010,” Gélinas said in a release. “I’m glad the government is finally rolling up their sleeves to get this important work underway, even if it is late in starting. The Northeastern LHIN covers an extremely large and diverse area; it’s very important that the review come to Sudbury for input.”

The LHINs were set up by the Liberal government in 2007 to help deliver health-care funding to hospitals, clinics, long-term care homes and community care initiative. A review was supposed to be completed in March 2010.

Gelinas told Northern Life opposition to the LHINs, especially from the Progressive Conservative Party, made the Liberals sheepish to conduct a review of the institutions and the Local Health System Integration Act, which legislates their existence.

Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has said he would end the LHINs if his party were to form government.

“I mean these LHINs have taken $300 million out of health care for a bloated bureaucracy, boy they have a lot of conventions and meetings but these are folks who don't spend a minute with patients. They don't do a single surgery,” Hudak told media in 2011.

Cynthia Stables, the North East LHIN's director of community engagement and communications, told Northern Life the organization welcomes a review.

“It's business as usual from a North East LHIN perspective in terms of working with health service providers and engaging with northerners,” she said.

The standing committee will visit seven other communities in Ontario to receive public feedback on the LHINs and how the Local Health System Integration Act could be amended to improve the level of service.

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