Patients First

Achieving an Integrated System of Care for All





NEW! On February 7, 2018, we gave an update on the Patients First work that's happening locally. 


Groups that support Patients First

These committees will advise the LHIN on system-wide priorities and drive change locally: the Patient and Family Advisory Committee, Health System Renewal Advisory Committee, and five sub-region integration tables. 


Be a part of the ongoing conversation on Patients First, sign up to receive LHIN updates.


Sub-region geographies

Background on Patients First

On December 7, 2016, Ontario passed the Patients First Act that will help patients and their families obtain better access to a more local and integrated health care system, improving the patient experience and delivering higher-quality care.

The Patients First Act intends to improve access to health care services by implementing system-level changes to allow for faster and better access to care, and put patients and their families at the centre of a truly integrated system. The government is committed to the next stage of the Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, by focusing on improving patient experience and providing more reliable and faster access to care. The Patients First Act is part of the government's ongoing work under the Action Plan to create a more patient-centred health care system in Ontario. 


  • Updates to the South West LHIN Board of Directors


Recruiting members for groups that will support Patients First

Ensuring primary health care is strengthened and linked with the broader health care system


The South West LHIN is committed to an integrated health services approach inclusive of primary care. To address this need, Integrated Health Service Collaboratives were envisioned when developing the Health System Design Blueprint – Vision 2022. The Blueprint describes these collaboratives as serving the full population to educate, screen, assess, treat, and assist with navigation and support services.

Improving access to primary care is also a focus for the 2016-19 Integrated Health Services Plan (IHSP). To help inform our priorities the LHIN hosted a series of engagements consisting of local health care users, and leaders or governors of health service providers where valuable feedback was received on the future direction of local health care.

Addressing Communities with High Physician Needs

When a doctor moves, or retires, an entire community’s health care can be affected. For these communities, it is more difficult for residents to access a family physician. To help determine areas experiencing high primary care need in our geography, the South West LHIN has developed a defined, transparent, predictable approach with consistent criteria to support decision making.

Details of criteria used to further understand and identify areas of high primary care physician need can be found in Family practice compensation models.

Through this analysis, the South West LHIN will be able to identify and prioritize a number of areas of high primary care physician need. Communities that scored as highest need and/or highest risk in a number of areas will be identified on our list of Communities of High Primary Care Physician Need


Communities targeted for improvements through the Ministry’s Areas of High Physician Need list will be those with an existing Family Health Network or Family Health Organization model. More information on areas of high physician need can be found on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website.



A separate LHIN-wide strategy will be developed to address high physician needs in communities not identified on this list.



The LHIN will strive to maintain awareness of potential high needs communities about whether or not there is active recruitment happening. In communities without active recruitment, we will work with Health Force Ontario to determine how best to support community efforts.



For more information on the South West LHIN’s Communities of High Primary Care Physician Need list, please contact Mia Segal, Health System Planner, South West LHIN, 519-640-2621 



To discuss your community physician needs, please contact Jane Tillmann, Health Force Ontario Regional Advisor: 519-200-4896.