April 1, 2020

Transfer Order for Ontario Telemedicine Network In Effect

Ontario is building healthier and safer communities by taking further steps to end hallway health care and build an integrated, connected health care system.

On April 1, 2020, the transfer order to move the Ontario Telemedicine Network into Ontario Health came into effect. The transfer order was first issued on March 18, 2020 by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott under the Connecting Care Act, 2019.

As previously announced, work locations and reporting obligations for the Ontario Telemedicine Network will remain the same. Ed Brown will continue to oversee the work of the OTN as the business unit lead within Ontario Health, reporting to Matthew Anderson, President and CEO of Ontario Health.

This transfer helps further pave the way for digital-first approaches to health care in Ontario including virtual care and improving the integration and efficiency of digital assets across the health system.

Based on feedback and guidance from Ontario Health, the transfer of the health system funding, planning and coordination functions of the LHINs will be postponed as the province continues to actively respond to COVID-19. Plans will be made to transfer these functions into Ontario Health at a later date.

March 18, 2020

Transfer Orders Issued

Ontario is building healthier and safer communities by taking another step to end hallway health care and build an integrated, connected health care system.

On March 18, 2020, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, issued a transfer order under the Connecting Care Act, 2019 for the transfer of all the assets, liabilities, rights, obligations, contracts and employees of the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) into Ontario Health, effective April 1, 2020. This follows the previous transfer of five agencies and select Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) executives into Ontario Health in December 2019.

Ontario Health will assume the operations and activities of OTN. Work locations and reporting obligations will remain the same. Ed Brown will continue to oversee the work of the OTN as the business unit lead within Ontario Health, reporting to Matthew Anderson, President and CEO of Ontario Health.

OTN is a world leader in providing virtual access to care for patients in every hospital in Ontario and hundreds of other health care organizations across the province.

This transfer helps further pave the way for digital-first approaches to health care in Ontario including virtual care and improving the integration and efficiency of digital assets across the health system.

Based on feedback and guidance from Ontario Health, the transfer of the health system funding, planning and coordination functions of the LHINs will be postponed as the province continues to actively respond to COVID-19. Plans will be made to transfer these functions into Ontario Health at a later date.

March 5, 2020

Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions System Plan

On March 3rd, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, launched Roadmap to Wellness: A Plan to Build Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions System. The Roadmap provides a clear path forward toward offering Ontarians easier access to higher-quality care and supports in communities where and when they need it.

The new Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence within Ontario Health will serve as the foundation on which Roadmap to Wellness is built. The centre will:

  • Establish a central point of accountability and oversight for mental health and addictions care;
  • Be responsible for standardizing and monitoring the quality and delivery of evidence-based services and clinical care across the province to provide a better and more consistent patient experience;
  • Create common performance indicators and shared infrastructure to disseminate evidence and set service expectations; and
  • Provide support and resources to Ontario Health Teams as they use the core services framework to connect patients to the different types of mental health and addictions care they need and help them navigate the complex system.

As the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence standardizes and better organizes the system, it will enable and drive the effective implementation of the roadmap’s four pillars:

  1. Improving quality;
  2. Expanding existing services;
  3. Implementing innovative solutions; and
  4. Improving access.

The four pillars are described further in the full plan, but some of the exciting changes include:

  • Core Services Framework – Once developed, this framework will identify and define the core provincially-funded mental health and addictions services that will be made available over time to Ontarians, regardless of where they live.
  • Mindability – A program that provides access to evidence-based, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for people living with depression and anxiety. The program will be offered in various forms including telephone coaching and clinical counselling, psychoeducational groups, internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy and face-to-face group and individual counselling.
  • Coordinated Access to Mental Health and Addictions Core Services – In the future, any  person living in Ontario will be able to call, text or go online to learn more or get help by using:
    • One easy-to-remember and toll-free phone number that all Ontarians can call, regardless of geography; and
    • An easy-to-use website with an online chat function and client resources.

Read the full plan in English and French.

If you have questions or comments about the Roadmap, you can send an email to Roadmaptowellness@ontario.ca