Local Health Integration Networks
Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) were established by the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006 (Act) to achieve an integrated health system and enable local communities to make decisions about their local health systems. The purpose of the Act is “to provide for an integrated health system to improve the health of Ontarians through better access to high quality health services, co-ordinated health care in local health systems and across the province, and effective and efficient management of the health system at the local level.”
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Ministry) announced the creation of the 14 LHINs in September 2004 and the Act came into force in March 2006. In April 2007, all LHINs began assuming their role in managing local health services, starting with the hospital sector. By July 2010, the LHINs had fully assumed their role over all six health sectors (see Section 1.3.1). Prior to April 2007, the Ministry’s seven regional offices were responsible for funding and monitoring health service providers, and 16 district health councils (advisory, health-planning organizations funded by the Ministry) were responsible for planning the health system and engaging communities. The district health councils were closed in March 2005 and the regional offices were closed in April 2007.
Each LHIN is a not-for-profit Crown agency covering a distinct region of Ontario (see Figure 1) that varies in size, population health profile, service delivery issues and health service providers. Each LHIN is governed by a board of directors. Each board consists of no more than nine members who are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council with the advice of the Cabinet. The chair of a LHIN board is accountable to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care for the goals, objectives and performance of the local health system. Each LHIN also has a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who is responsible for managing the LHIN and its staff. On average, each LHIN employs about 40 staff. As of March 31, 2015, the 14 LHINs together employed approximately 600 full-time staff, compared to about 470 full-time staff employed by district health councils and ministry regional offices prior to the establishment of LHINs.
Locations of Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks
Source of data: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care:
- Erie St. Clair
- South West
- Waterloo Wellington
- Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant
- Central West
- Mississauga Halton
- Toronto Central
- Central East
- South East
- North Simcoe Muskoka
- North East
- North West
Some information taken from 2015 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario.