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New to Ontario and Considering PSW College? 4 Facts about the Local Health Integration Networks

New to Ontario and Considering PSW College? 4 Facts about the Local Health Integration Networks

New to Ontario and Considering PSW College? 4 Facts about the Local Health Integration Networks

Across Canada, provinces have different systems in place to facilitate health services for the public. This is known as regionalization and aims to support each province’s needs and demands for quality healthcare in localized departments.

In Ontario, there are 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) that help administer efficient care in areas within the province. LHINs have technical authority over the funding that goes to hospitals, community care access centers, long-term care homes, and a variety of other provincial health care organizations. Apart from funding, the LHINs focus on improving access to healthcare facilities and creating an overall positive patient or client experience.

There are certain things you need to know about the LHINs if you’re interested in entering the healthcare industry within Ontario as a Personal Support Worker (PSW). Read on to find out how understanding the LHINs can help you take the first steps into a rewarding health care career.

1. The LHINs Are a Recent Addition to Ontario’s Healthcare System

Regionalized healthcare is a relatively new concept to Canada, and most of the provinces had adopted some form of regional health care authorities by the end of the 1990s. However, Ontario did not establish the LHINs until 2004, with legislation going into effect in 2006.

In 2017, a new act expanded the original LHIN mandate to include home and community care services delivery. The Patients First Act focuses on improving four main areas: healthcare access, connected services, health education, and protective universal public health care. This act is important for PSWs to be aware of because it aims to improve how health care professionals provide better care for their clients, as well as increase their overall involvement in the health care system of Ontario.

Students can use their training at SE Career College of Health to succeed in the health care industry

Students can use their training at SE Career College of Health to succeed in the health care industry

2. PSWs Know that Ontario’s LHINs are Unique among All Canadian Provinces

As the last province to adopt regionalized health care, Ontario’s integration networks have a unique approach to their services.

When establishing the LHINs, individual hospitals and local health organizations were allowed to retain the administrative boards that manage and direct their health services. This means that each of the 14 LHINs is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the province, not the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC).

3. LHINs Help Manage the Workplace of Your Personal Support Worker Career

After graduating PSW college, there are many possible careers to choose from, as well as many different work environments and settings. While PSWs can work in long-term care facilities and hospitals, the rise of home care has also made visiting clients on an individual basis in their own residences a more common career option.

LHINs helps personal support workers provide quality care for their clients

LHINs helps personal support workers provide quality care for their clients

All of these workplaces fall within the jurisdiction of the local LHINs that you would be working under. LHINs are meant to improve community access to health care services, and as a PSW, you would be providing this service directly to your clients. The LHIN is also responsible for funding the facility you work in, as well as providing the local employment opportunities you need to start a successful personal support worker career.

4. LHINs Have Legislative Authority over Local Facilities

One of the benefits of regionalized health care is that it allows the local governance to make decisions based on their community’s needs. LHINs have the regional authority to manage, merge, restructure, and close health care facilities.

It should be noted, however, that LHINs are not a direct service provider. Instead, they work as additional, more localized administrative support for the MOHLTC. LHINs are meant to help manage important health care responsibilities such as the planning, funding, and monitoring of hospitals, home care, long-term care facilities, and community support services.

Are you interested in starting a new, rewarding career in health care?


Contact SE Career College of Health to receive information about our personal support worker courses in Ontario.