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Better Access To Better Care For Thousands

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Better Access To Better Care For Thousands

McGuinty Government Delivers New Family Health Team To Perth County

Office of the Premier

STRATFORD -- The people of Perth County will now have improved access to care because of a new Family Health Team in their community, says Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.

"Families in Perth County, including those who could not find a family doctor, will now have access to doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who will not only treat them when they're sick, but do more to keep them healthy in the first place," said Premier McGuinty.

Perth County's Family Health Team will include doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and other health care professionals working together to provide access to health care during extended hours, seven days a week, close to home. Local health care providers have also proposed including a dietician, pharmacist, physiotherapist, child psychologist, social worker and diabetes educators on the team. The Perth County team will operate from several locations in Stratford, Tavistock, Mitchell and surrounding areas.

This team is part of the government's first wave of 52 Family Health Teams and three networks of Family Health Teams being set up and funded in communities across Ontario. These teams will provide care to more than one million patients in 47 communities throughout the province. More communities will be creating Family Health Teams to meet the government's goal of 150 across Ontario by 2007/08. This first wave of teams exceeds the government's original target of 45 Family Health Teams by spring 2005.

"My colleagues and I are very excited about exploring new ways of working together as health professionals to improve the quality of primary care in our community," said Dr. Sean Blaine, lead physician of the Perth County Family Health Team. "Our Family Health Team will help link important primary care services and therefore provide patients with greater access to the care they need, when they need it, right here in our community."

Family Health Teams are part of the government's comprehensive plan to improve health care in Ontario. It's a plan that includes keeping Ontarians healthy, shorter wait times and improving access to doctors, nurses and other health care providers.

"Family Health Teams mean healthier Ontarians, a stronger health care system and a better quality of life for people in communities across the province," said Premier McGuinty.

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