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Ontario taking next steps to integrate health care system

Author(s): Michael Watts, Susan Newell, Marty Putyra

Nov 15, 2019

On November 13, 2019, the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) announced the next steps in its plan to integrate Ontario’s health care system and help end hallway health care. These steps will impact several Ontario health agencies as well as the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).[1]

Effective December 2, 2019, five provincial agencies will begin transferring into Ontario Health: Cancer Care Ontario; Health Quality Ontario; eHealth Ontario; Health Shared Services Ontario; and HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency. The Trillium Gift of Life Network, responsible for organ and tissue donation and transplantation services, will be transferred at a later date.[2]

In addition, the 14 LHINs will be clustered into five “Ontario Health Interim and Transitional Regions” (the “Interim Regions”). The existing 14 LHINS will be organized under the five Interim Regions as follows:

14 LHINs will be clustered into five Ontario Health Interim and Transitional Regions

North: North West and North East

West: Erie St. Clair, South West, Waterloo Wellington, Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant

Central: Central West, Central East, Mississauga Halton, North Simcoe Muskoka

East: Central East, South East and Champlain

Toronto: Toronto Central

In the Ministry’s announcement, it was highlighted that the creation of the Interim Regions is an administrative step only and does not represent a merger of the LHIN boundaries.[3]

The Ministry also stated that “[a]s part of this next step to cluster the LHINs, the number of chief executive officer (CEO) positions has been reduced to five to ensure alignment and to eliminate duplication of roles and responsibilities.” The Ministry stated that LHIN functions will eventually transition into Ontario Health or to local Ontario Health Teams over time.[4]

For more information on Ontario’s health care system changes, please see our previous Osler Updates: “Ontario introduces Bill 74: the People’s Health Care Act,” “Ontario amends the People’s Health Care Act,” and “Osler: your partner to navigating Ontario’s health care system integration.”


[1] Ministry of Health, “Ontario Taking Next Steps to Integrate Health Care System” (November 13, 2019), Government of Ontario, available: Government of Ontario Newsroom.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.