McGuinty Government invests in better health care for seniors

Archived Release

McGuinty Government invests in better health care for seniors

Ministry of Health

Supports In Place To Attract New Doctors In Geriatric Care LONDON, ON, March 18 - The McGuinty government is delivering better healthcare to seniors by investing in programs that attract new doctors and assist physicians specializing in geriatric care in London, Hamilton and Ottawa, Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman announced today. "Physicians who practice geriatric medicine provide an invaluable service to our seniors," Smitherman said. "By ensuring that the elderly have access to quality healthcare when they need it, we are protecting people's health our most precious resource." The government has signed three new agreements with the regional geriatric programs at the academic health science centres in London, Hamilton and Ottawa. The agreements provide funding stability and a single source of payment to the physicians - whether they are providing patient care, teaching future doctors or working on new medical innovations through research. Academic geriatricians who hold privileges at both the local academic health science centre and university are eligible to be part of the agreement. The McGuinty government is providing $5.3 million for the three funding agreements. "These new agreements will help us attract and keep the best and brightest in the geriatric field," said Smitherman. "Funding stability and new resources at academic health science centres will promote innovation and high quality education for a generation of new physicians." The government is also providing a recruitment fund to assist the three centres in attracting new geriatricians to their programs. "We need caring hands and talented minds in order to provide the quality health care that Ontarians deserve," Smitherman said. "These new agreements will mean better health outcomes and an improved quality of life for some of the most vulnerable members of our society." The McGuinty government is delivering positive change to Ontario's health care system. Earlier this week, Smitherman announced improvements to primary care delivery and stroke treatment across the province. This news release is available on our website at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca Version fran├žaise disponible Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care NEW AGREEMENTS WITH REGIONAL GERIATRIC PROGRAMS The McGuinty government is entering into new agreements with three regional geriatric programs to help with the retention and recruitment of physicians in these programs. Regional Geriatric Programs Regional geriatric programs (RGPs) provide a comprehensive network of specialized geriatric services for older adults who have special needs. RGPs will assess and treat all aspects of illness and disability in older adults. These RGPs are located in Hamilton, London and Ottawa. Physicians in these programs are funded through Alternate Funding Plans (AFPs) that pay for all their clinical, teaching, research and administrative services. The RGPs offer the following range of services: - clinical services involving a range of specialized geriatric assessment, short-term treatment and rehabilitation services; and - academic services which include teaching and evaluation of undergraduate and postgraduate medical students in geriatric medicine and health services research. About 28,000 elderly patients each year (mainly 85 years and older) receive treatment through acute geriatric assessment units, geriatric rehabilitation units, day hospitals, outpatient clinics, geriatric consultations in hospitals and home visits by team members. The Agreements The government has signed three new agreements with the regional geriatric programs at the academic health science centres in London, Hamilton and Ottawa. The agreements provide funding stability and a single source of payment to the physicians - whether they are providing patient care, teaching future doctors or working on new medical innovations through research. Academic geriatricians who hold privileges at both the local academic health science centre and university are eligible to be part of the agreement. The McGuinty government is providing $5.3 million for the three funding agreements. Alternative Funding Plans The new funding agreements, called Alternate Funding Plans (AFPs), provide funding stability and a single source of payment to physicians-whether the physician is providing clinical services, teaching a class or working on research. Compensating doctors for conducting research and teaching medical students means better healthcare for Ontarians. These type of funding arrangements: - assist in the recruitment and retention of world-class physicians; - provide flexibility in funding arrangements to ensure academic health science centres have the right mix of physicians to respond to local health care needs; and - reward physicians for treating complex cases and meeting their academic responsibilities.For further information: Members of the media: Eva Lannon, Minister's Office, (416) 327-4320; Tanya Cholakov, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197; Members of the general public: (416) 327-4327, or (800) 268-1154