McGuinty Government Hits Target: 150 Family Health Teams
Better Access To Health Care For 2.5 Million Ontarians
The Ontario government is strengthening health care for working families by reaching its goal of creating 150 Family Health Teams, says Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"These 150 teams will work to keep people healthy, as well as treat them when they're sick," said Premier McGuinty. "That means healthier Ontarians, a stronger health care system and a better quality of life."
Today's announcement will bring Family Health Teams to 50 Ontario communities. The Premier spoke at the Etobicoke Medical Centre, where a Family Health Team will include doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and other health care professionals. They will work together to prevent illness, promote wellness and provide access to 24-hour health care.
When fully operational, the team will serve over 32,000 patients. Physicians working in an interdisciplinary group practice could see up to 50 per cent more patients than those working in a solo practice.
The first Family Health Teams were announced last April, and a second wave was added in December 2005. With this latest group of teams, the government has reached its goal of creating 150 Family Health Teams throughout Ontario. Once all teams are up and running, they are expected to improve access to health services for more than 2.5 million Ontarians.
"Family Health Teams are the next evolution in primary health care services and are changing the way health care is being delivered right across the province," said Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman. "They mean a stronger health care system now and for generations to come."
"There has been tremendous interest in Family Health Teams right from when this new and exciting concept was first introduced," said Dr. Jim MacLean, Executive Lead for Primary Health Care with the ministry's Health Results Team. "The teams have grown rapidly, reaching hundreds of thousands of patients who now are able to access the health services they need and deserve."
"My team and I are delighted with the progress of Family Health Teams over the last several months," said Dr. Garnet Maley, Lead Physician, Prime Care Family Health Team. "Our patients have really benefited from increased access, better services and better outcomes, and we're certain the new Family Health Teams announced today will share in our success."
Family Health Teams are part of the government's plan for innovation in public health care to serve people better. This plan includes building a health care system that delivers on three priorities -- keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing better access to doctors and nurses.
"By reaching our goal of creating 150 Family Health Teams, we're delivering on our commitment to improve health care for working families across Ontario," said Premier McGuinty. "Not only will these teams meet local health care needs, but they will promote a healthier Ontario for years to come."