Ford government restructuring Ontario’s health ministry

The Ford government is re-organizing how Ontario’s health ministry is structured, CBC News has learned.

Deputy Health Minister Helen Angus is poised to make the announcement later Thursday on behalf of Health Minister Christine Elliott.

It will mean re-structuring some of the divisions within Ontario’s health ministry bureaucracy.

As part of the changes, one new division will be focused solely on mental health. Another will combine hospitals and emergency services with the existing division that covers capacity planning and capital projects.

“The ministry is updating its internal structure to better align with and support the government’s key health priorities,” a government official told CBC News.

Government sources tell CBC there will be no job losses as a result of the restructuring. In June, some 416 back-office workers were laid off amid the merger of 14 local health integration networks (LHINs) despite campaign promises by Doug Ford that there would be no job losses should his PCs form government.

Among the layoffs were communications, planning and financial services staff.

The province is consolidating 20 agencies, including the LHINs, Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario, among others, into a new agency called Ontario Health.

The bureaucratic changes come in the same month when new data showed average wait times at Ontario hospitals set a new June record this year. According to recent data from Health Quality Ontario, patients spent an average of 16.3 hours waiting in emergency rooms in June 2019, up from an average of 14.4 hours the previous June.

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