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Government & policy

New Family Health Teams announced in Ontario

TORONTO – Ontario is creating 19 new Family Health Teams across the province to provide better access to family healthcare.

The new Family Health Teams will be established in areas of the province with high numbers of patients without family doctors. Family Health Teams provide better access to care closer to home and include physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers and dieticians. The teams also help reduce emergency department use by providing non-emergency care.

The 19 new Family Health Teams are expected to be up and running by 2011/12.

“The addition of 19 new Family Health Teams means thousands of patients across Ontario will not only have access to a doctor, but also to a team of healthcare professionals working collaboratively that can provide a more comprehensive level of care,” said Dr. Suzanne Strasberg (pictured), President of the OMA.

Ontario’s 150 existing teams have already enrolled more than 318,000 patients who did not have access to a family physician, and are providing care to more than two million people.

The province will establish 50 new Family Health Teams and 25 new Nurse Practitioner-led Clinics over the next three years.

Ontario recently announced eight additional Nurse Practitioner-led Clinics.

Over 1,260 allied health professionals have been hired to work at the existing 150 Family Health Teams.

Ontarians without a family healthcare provider can register with Healthcare Connect, a program that helps people find a family healthcare provider in their community.

“No matter where they live, all Ontario families deserve access to quality healthcare. Family Health Teams are a wonderful addition to communities in need, and I’m proud that these 19 new teams will increase access to family healthcare for more Ontarians,” said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

Posted Jan. 14, 2010