More than 400 health-sector workers are being laid off in Ontario as the Progressive Conservative government moves to merge 20 agencies into one.

A spokesman for Health Minister Christine Elliott says 416 people in "back-office positions" will lose their jobs and another 409 vacant positions will be eliminated.

The province is consolidating 14 local health integration networks, Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario and other agencies into a new organization called Ontario Health.

The government projects the change will save $350 million a year by 2021-22, and a senior official said recently that $250 million will be saved this year.

Elliott says each agency having its own administrative and back-office support needlessly duplicates operations and takes money from patient care.

During last year's election, Premier Doug Ford repeatedly promised that not a single person would lose their job under his government.