McGuinty government improves access to physician-pharmacist teams

Archived Release

McGuinty government improves access to physician-pharmacist teams

Ministry of Health

New Front-Line Services A Real, Positive Change BURLINGTON, ON, March 18 - The McGuinty government is improving people's access to front-line health care by bringing together family physicians and pharmacists to deliver better care to patients, Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman announced today. "It's important that we bring health care professionals, like doctors and pharmacists, together to provide the responsive and quality care Ontarians need, right in their communities," Smitherman said. "Medication errors are a major cause of unnecessary hospitalization, especially for seniors. Through this initiative, doctors and pharmacists will work together to make the best drug choices so that patients receive the full benefits of medication, while avoiding adverse effects and interactions." The Integrating Family Medicine and Pharmacy to Advance Primary Care (IMPACT) is a $1.8 million project that is a collaboration between McMaster, Toronto and Ottawa Universities and involves seven pharmacists working with 70 family physicians to provide better drug therapy. "IMPACT will integrate pharmacists into family practice," said Dr. Lisa Dolovich, Principal Investigator at McMaster University. "By building a team approach to drug therapy and using the knowledge of pharmacists and family physicians, patient drug care will be improved for conditions including diabetes and hypertension." The project is one of 45 new primary care initiatives being launched across the province at a cost of $39.2 million. The funding is from the federal Primary Health Care Transition Fund, which helps provincial and territorial governments to strengthen primary care services. Ontario's portion of this fund is $213 million. "Our people's health is our most precious resource," Smitherman said. "Interdisciplinary front-line health teams like the one in the IMPACT initiative bring different health care professionals together to meet a range of health care needs. This initiative will help keep our people healthy and ensure better care for all Ontarians". This news release is available on our website at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca Version fran├žaise disponibleFor 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