Earlier this week the Ontario Liberal Party hosted an on-line text chat with the Minister of Health and Long Term Care, the Honourable Deb Matthews. The session was moderated, with the audience posing questions to a facilitator who selected the questions for the minister to answer.
I posed a number of questions related to the use of health IT, the future of eHealth Ontario, and the Minister’s thoughts on LHINs. Of the various questions that I posed, the moderator selected my question about eHealth Ontario. I asked the Minister about whether eHealth Ontario would continue to exist under a Liberal government. Minister Matthews replied:
“Anyone who works in health care knows that we need to continue to transform it unless we want to move to two-tier health care, which Ontario Libs certainly don’t!! A vital part of that transformation is moving forward with eHealth. We’ve now got about half of Ontarians with EHRs – shutting down eHealth would be just dumb!”
As the minister did not directly refer to eHealth Ontario, it is not clear whether she was stating a commitment to the agency or to continued investment in eHealth. Perhaps “eHealth” was intended as short form of “eHealth Ontario” or maybe she was being purposely vague. Whatever the case, I am pleased to see the Minister recognize the role that health IT can play in transforming our healthcare system.
I learned today that on May 20th, David Hallett, Associate Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care sent a memo to all Health System Information Management & Investment branch staff informing them that John McKinley had “expressed an interest in pursuing new career opportunities in the broader Healthcare Sector”. According to the memo, Mr. McKinley will take several months to transition out of his current role as ADM, Health System Information Management & Investment and that a search for his sucessor will begin immediately.
According to a government of Ontario media release:
the term of the current interim president and CEO, Michael Finn, was scheduled to conclude 26 February 2010. A check of the eHealth Ontario and gov’t Ontario web sites this morning revealed that there were no announcements regarding either an extension of Mr. Finn’s mandate or hiring a new CEO.
Anyone hear anything? Any news on when we can expect an announcement regarding a new CEO? The silence is deafening.
Longwoods Publishing noted the following changes to senior staff at MOHLTC:
- Deborah Drake Matthews Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
- Saäd Rafi , Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. Mr. Rafi is currently the Deputy Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.
- David Hallett , Associate Deputy Minister
- Ruth Hawkins , Assistant Deputy Minister & Chief Administrative Officer
- Ruth Hawkins , Assistant Deputy Minister (Acting), Direct Sertvices Division
- Dr. Joshua Tepper, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Human Resources Strategy Division
- Alice Keung , Chief Information Officer, Health Services Informatino and Information Technology Cluster
- Ken Deane, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health System Accountability and Performance Division
- John McKinley, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health System Information Management & Investment Division
- Adalsteinn Brown, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health System Strategy Division
- Susan Fitzpatrick. Assistant Deputy Minister, Negotiations and Accountability Management Division
- Helen Stevenson. Assistant Deputy Minister & Executive Officer, Ontario Public Drug Programs Division
- Allison j. Stuart, Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Health Division,
- Dr. Arlene King, Chief Medical Officer of Health
- Dawn Ogram, Assistant Deputy Minister, Organization Transition