FORMING A LOCAL ONTARIO HEALTH TEAM
Several healthcare organizations in the City of Kawartha Lakes are discussing the formation of a local Ontario Health Team (OHT) to better coordinate care and services for local residents.
On February 26, the Ministry of Health & Long Term Care announced its intention to better connect the health care system by implementing Ontario Health Teams. Ontario Health Teams are groups of providers and organizations that are clinically and fiscally accountable for delivering a full and coordinated continuum of care to a defined geographic population. Our geographic population lives within the City of Kawartha Lakes (CKL).
At present, the organizations that are preparing a joint self-assessment to potentially form a local OHT include Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes, Kawartha North Family Health Team, Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge, Extendicare Kawartha Lakes and Lakeland Village, and Ross Memorial Hospital.
These organizations have long partnered to serve their shared communities. They currently run joint programs and services under various formal agreements and Memoranda of Understanding. If approved, the formation of this OHT would build on these existing partnerships to provide seamless and coordinated care for our CKL residents.
If the group’s self-assessment is approved, the OHT will focus initially on enhancing coordinated care and services to a target population that includes seniors over 65 years who live alone or have a poor support network; who are frail, with complex medical needs or mental health or addictions issues who find it hard to navigate the healthcare system; and who have been hospitalized within the last year. As the work of the OHT evolves, the scope of care and services as well as the patient/client/resident focus would expand.
The self-assessment to form the local OHT will be submitted by the provincial deadline of May 15. The Ministry of Health & Long Term Care will be inviting those that are ready to submit a detailed application. The first phase of OHT implementation is planned for this fall.
Feedback will be welcome throughout this process. Please watch for opportunities to provide feedback, share suggestions, and identify current gaps in services.