The Minister of Labour is happy to endorse the province’s upcoming changes to the healthcare system.

Laurie Scott, the MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, spoke with shortly after her colleague, Christine Elliot announced the province was going to overhaul how healthcare operates in Ontario.

These changes the healthcare reform include the consolidation of the Local Health Integration Networks, Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario, and several other agencies into one “superagency” called Ontario Health

Scott explained that many people felt it was a patchwork of systems, and she is hopeful the changes will help more people stay in their homes as well as create more long-term care beds and putting an end to “hallway medicine”.

“We knew that we needed to do something large,” says Scott who goes on to say “and that transformation will be large.”

Scott says that there has been support for the healthcare transformation from the top down, saying that the Ontario Hospital Association, the Ontario Medical Association, Long-Term Care Association, Registered Nurse Association, Caregiver Association all gave their support in changing the way the Ontario healthcare system was structured.

As part of the reform, Scott says that the province is aiming to deliver more care locally, but also get more input locally.

According to Scott, the Local Health Integration Networks were very large organizations and she feels that lumping Haliburton County needs in with Scarborough for example, was not an accurate way to understand what was needed.

When asked if the changes would create a loss in jobs within the healthcare industry based on the dissolving of the LHIN system, Scott says “not on frontline providers for sure,” adding “we can’t get nurses, PSWs, RPNs, doctors even. I mean we are at a shortage all the time. I think the aim of this is ya know, to have more the not only patient centred but making it easier for patients to be able to call in and make appointments and actually have as much control of their own health care and appointments and how it flows as they possibly can.”

Scott emphasized that as much as there is going to be one overarching agency, there was a lot of redundancies and bureaucracy in the healthcare system, saying “when they were in silos like they were, it was very hard for patients to access”.

“This is less bureaucracy and less people that will probably be in the mix, and more patient centred so they have control.”

“I think we’ll see better delivered patient centred care,” says Scott.