Ontario Tables Bill to Create Integrated Community Health Services Centres, and More
Date: February 22, 2023
On February 21, 2023, the Ontario government tabled Bill 60, Your Health Act, 2023 for First Reading. The government states that the objective of the Bill is to reduce wait times for surgeries, procedures and diagnostic imaging ‘while enabling its new “As of Right” rules to automatically recognize the credentials of health care workers registered in other provinces and territories.’ If passed, Bill 60 would enact the Integrated Community Health Services Centres Act, 2023 (Proposed Act) which would create integrated community health services centres, among other things.
Integrated Community Health Services Centres
If passed, the Proposed Act would set out the process to obtain a licence to operate an integrated community health services centre (ICHSC). There would be detailed content requirements for the licence applications, including the following:
- the applicant’s capacity to improve patient wait times
- the applicant’s plans to improve patient experience and integrate with the health system
- the applicant’s quality assurance, including policies for infection prevention and control
- the applicant’s business, clinical and professional experience
- the applicant’s staffing model and evidence of the sustainability of the model
- a description of current linkages with health system partners
- a description of how the applicant would address the health equity needs of the population
The ICHSC Director(s) appointed under the Proposed Act would be required to consider a number of factors in assessing licence applications, including but not limited to the following:
- the extent to which the services are already available
- the extent to which the services to be provided will improve patient wait times, patient experiences and plans to integrate with the health system in the region
- the current and future health care needs in Ontario, taking into account equity needs
- the projected costs in public money in the operation of the ICHSC
A licence would be issued for a maximum of five years unless a longer maximum term is prescribed in the regulations.
All licensees would be required to establish a process to review and respond to patient complaints. They would also be subject to inspections by inspectors to ensure compliance.
Licensees would be entitled to a hearing at the Health Services Appeal and Review Board (Board) in a number of circumstances, such as where a licence is refused, revoked or suspended. Decisions of the Board may be judicially reviewed by a court on a question of law alone.
Other Amendments Made by Bill 60
Bill 60 would amend several statutes to allow health care workers registered or licensed in other provinces to immediately start practising in Ontario, without having to wait to complete their registration with the applicable regulatory college in Ontario.
Bill 60 would also amend the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act as it applies to extra-ministerial data integration units.
We will continue to monitor the legislative progress of Bill 60 and will provide updates as appropriate.
If you require further information regarding Bill 60 or have questions about how the new legislation could impact your organization, please contact your regular Hicks Morley lawyer.
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