Mississauga Halton LHIN using phone poll to ensure full regional feedback

Mississauga Halton LHIN using phone poll to ensure full regional feedback

Randomly chosen consumers in the Mississauga Halton LHIN will be getting phone calls from a prominent polling organization over the next few weeks. The polling is designed to ensure full input from as many communities as possible on the integration of health care in the area.

Despite community engagement meetings with both consumers and providers, the chance remains, says Scott McLeod, Senior Director of Planning, Integration and Community Engagement, that LHIN community engagement efforts, which have also included a web survey and mass information mailings, haven’t been exhaustive enough.

“The concern is that even if we had 10,000 people at our community engagement meetings, have we truly reflected the needs [of different communities]?” asks McLeod.

The poll will provide a scientific assurance, he adds, and a greater comfort level about the extent of community engagement.

Consumers who answer the poll will be asked to provide input on each of the LHINs key priority areas, which include primary care, chronic disease management, seniors, and mental health and addiction treatment. For those less informed about LHINs and the re-structuring of the Ontario health care system, the poll will provide further explication.

The poll survey will take roughly fifteen minutes, explains McLeod, and has been designed to include as many communities in the LHIN region, whether Mississauga or Georgetown.

“We’re asking people – what are the ‘top of mind’ issues?” says McLeod.

These will include questions about the most important issue in a given community, whether consumers are satisfied with services, and questions (posed as “Do you agree with ____?”) which offer the responder a chance to opine widely on different facets of health care.

The results of the poll, conducted by pollster company Leger, will be available mid-Sept.

Respondents will also be given an opportunity to join a “Virtual Town Hall,” an electronic forum which will provide consumers an on-going opportunity to offer feedback. Regular information updates on LHIN activity will also be a feature of the forum.

Mississauga LHIN staff have also recently held meetings in minority linguistic and ethnic communities, conducting meetings in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Throughout mid-Sept. LHIN staff will be holding forums for consumers to offer feedback on the draft Integrated Health Services Plan. A final “big bang” meeting, says McLeod, will be held at the end of the month and will be focused on area providers.

The meeting will feature a keynote presentation from George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long Term Care. McLeod expects up to 400 people to attend the meeting, which he dubs a final opportunity for providers to comment prior to the release of the IHSP to the Ministry. The IHSP is due Oct. 31st.