FAQ | Ontario's Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs)

  1. What is a Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)?
  2. What programs/services is the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care still responsible for?
  3. How many LHINs are there?
  4. Why is the government organizing the health system by LHINs?
  5. Will LHINs be governed by the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care?
  6. Do LHINs provide direct health care services to the community?
  7. How do the LHINs determine the health care priorities within their region?
  8. How do LHINs make health care better in communities across Ontario? 

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1. What is a Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)?

Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) are crown agencies established by the Government of Ontario to plan, coordinate, integrate and fund health services at a local level including:

• Hospitals
• Community Health Centres
• Long-term Care Homes
• Mental health and addiction agencies
• Community support service agencies; and
• Community Care Access Centres.

LHINs are based on a principle that community-based care is best planned, coordinated and funded in an integrated manner at the community level, because local people are best able to determine their health service needs and priorities.

2. What programs/services is the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) still responsible for?

The MOHLTC retains accountability for:

• Individual practitioners
• Family health teams
• Ambulance services
• Laboratories
• Provincial drug programs
• Provincial programs
• Independent health facilities
• Public health.

3. How many LHINs are there?

Fourteen LHINs have been established across the province: Central, Central East, Central West, Champlain, Erie St. Clair, Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant, Mississauga Halton, North Simcoe Muskoka, North East, North West, South East, South West, Toronto Central, and Waterloo Wellington.

4. Why is the government organizing the health system by LHINs?

The government is transforming the health system to make it more patient-centred, efficient and accountable. LHINs are a key component of that plan. By improving the integration and coordination of services at a local level, LHINs will help ensure that Ontarians receive the care they need now and in the future.

5. Will LHINs be governed by the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care?

No. Each LHIN is governed by its own Board of Directors appointed by the Province.

6. Do LHINs provide direct health care services to the community?

No. The LHINs plan, integrate and fund local health services in the community.

7. How do the LHINs determine the health care priorities within their region?

LHINs are working closely with local residents and health service providers in their respective communities to identify their health care needs and priorities through community engagement activities. They are developing ways to improve access to services, respond to concerns people have about those services and look for ways for health service providers to improve the quality of care.

8. How do LHINs make health care better in communities across Ontario?

LHINs are responsible for the local health system to ensure that services are integrated and coordinated. Over time, this will ease the flow of patients across the health care system and improve access to services in communities. They are also expected to plan and allocate resources more efficiently to ensure better access to health care now and in the future. In general, LHINs allow for more community input into local health care decisions, which improves the health care experience for patients in every part of the province.

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