Duncan Sinclair, former Dean of Medicine at Queen’s University, and the author of a book on health care reform in Ontario, now lives a quiet (for him) life on Buck Lake near Perth Road.
But he is still, at 85, involved in health care reform. He has been meeting, over the past year or so, with what he describes as a “a small group trying to organise what the current government is calling an “Ontario Health Team” in South Eastern Ontario.
I called him to this week to get his perspective on the latest government pronouncements over health care and their impact in Frontenac County. It turned out he was way ahead of the curve.
“I think what the government has in minds for healthcare has the potential to be a very good thing” he said in a telephone interview this week.
And there are plans for Eastern Ontario to be one of the first jurisdictions to see some wholesale changes.
A meeting took place in Kingston last week, attended by what Sinclair describes as a “coalition of the willing”, representatives from healthcare agencies from Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox and Addington, Frontenac, Lanark and Leeds and Grenville Counties as well as the Citied of Belleville and Kingston, to talk about the potential to form a single Health Team to serve the 500,000 people living in those jurisdictions.
Sinclair said that the ambitious idea includes hospitals, primary care, Community Health Centres, and even Public Health Agencies at the outset.
“The idea is to transfer the responsibility for allocating resources from funders as it is now, those delivering service, and to be as efficient as possible in providing all of all of the services that people need, services acting together in consultation with people who are being served.”
In Frontenac County, the Sydenham and Verona Medical Clinics and Sharbot lake Family Health Teams could be part of the change, and community service agencies as well.
The group is attempting to work with the “coalition of the willing” to put together a proposal in short order for the province to look at. They would like to be ready the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINS) fold and the new health care super agency takes over.