Investing In Our Health: Giving Ontarians The Health Care They Need And Deserve
The McGuinty Government will create 150 Family Health Teams over four years to deliver comprehensive front-line health care to more than 2.5 million Ontarians in the communities where they live.
The Need for Better Health Care
In Ontario today, 136 communities lack adequate access to family doctors. These include small, rural communities like Bancroft, medium-sized towns like Belleville and urban centres like Windsor.
That means that hundreds of thousands of Ontarians are going without the most basic health care or have no choice but to turn to the emergency room when they get sick.
Most primary care is still delivered by family doctors who practise on their own from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. People don't just get sick during regular business hours.
The traditional model of primary care no longer meets the needs of Ontarians today. We've been relying on a 20th century model for 21st century health care needs.
The Romanow Report and every other report on health care renewal have come to the same conclusion: primary care reform is the single most important change required to make health care more responsive, accessible and sustainable for future generations.
The Way Forward
Family Health Teams will deliver comprehensive front-line health care to more than 2.5 million Ontarians, in the communities where they live.
They will bring better access to front-line services to all Ontario communities including the 136 underserviced communities.
The teams will consist of a mix of health professionals that may include doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and others who work together to meet the needs of each individual in their care.
Family Health Teams will:
- Provide a comprehensive range of services, around the clock, seven days a week
- Emphasize prevention and healthy living as much as treating illness
- Be the patient's primary point of contact with the health care system
- Coordinate people's care and help them link with other services including home care and hospitals
- Involve communities in planning their own care.
The makeup and size of the teams will vary depending on the needs of the community.
Family Health Teams will build on front-line health teams that work.
The patchwork of primary care teams that exist today have not reached their full potential.
Family Health Teams will empower communities and involve them in planning their care.
Funding will support interdisciplinary teams.
Previously physicians had to bear the burden of establishing primary care teams.
Our government will work with physicians to help them build Family Health Teams that meet their communities' needs.