A substantial investment by the Ontario government aims to connect more people to primary care teams in Lennox & Addington County.
The $4.1 million investment is part of Ontario’s $110 million investment to connect up to 328,000 people to primary care teams, “bringing the province one step closer to connecting everyone in Ontario to primary care,” according to a release from Ric Bresee, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Hastings – Lennox & Addington.
“I am so grateful to see this provincial investment come to our area,” Bresee said. “It will support an innovative delivery model that provides an estimated 10,000 un-rostered people with access to primary care in the Lennox and Addington region.”
According to the release, Ontario currently leads the country with 90 per cent of people connected to a regular health care provider — the other side of that statistic is that 10 per cent of Ontarians are not able to connect with a regular health care provider. As a next step to close the gap for people not connected to primary care in the community, the province is supporting new and expanded interprofessional primary care teams in Lennox & Addington, according to MPP Bresee’s office..
For the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) region, this means an estimated 10,000 people will soon be able to receive primary care in a “very different, interprofessional wraparound model”, according to the release. The Periwinkle model is an “excellent example” of partnership in action and shows the value of the new Ontario Health Teams, Bresee’s office noted. It is anticipated that the original Periwinkle Health Home site will be the first of many across the KFL&A region. This model is the model supported and employed by the Frontenac Lennox and Addington Ontario Health Team (FLAOHT).
“This funding announcement is great news for the people of Ontario. We know that provinces built with strong systems of primary care will offer people the best health outcomes, at the most affordable public cost, providing care that is both equitable and accessible. Today’s news moves us one big step closer to the dream of ensuring that every person in Ontario will have a primary care home,” said Dr. Jane Philpott, Dean of Queen’s Health Sciences.
According to the release, interprofessional primary care teams connect people to a range of health professionals that work together under one roof, including doctors, nurse practitioners, registered and practical nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and dietitians, among others. Timely access to primary care helps people stay healthier for longer with faster diagnosis and treatment, as well as more consistent support managing their day-to-day health while relieving pressures on emergency departments and walk-in clinics, Bresee’s office stated.
“Our government is making record investments to ensure that everyone that wants to have a primary care provider can connect to one,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, in a statement. “While there is more work to do, giving hundreds of thousands of more Ontarians the opportunity to connect to primary care brings us that much closer to this goal.”
In addition to other historic investments to expand medical school spots and efforts to break down barriers so highly-skilled internationally-trained doctors can care for people in Ontario, Ministry of Health modelling shows that these initiatives will help connect up to 98 per cent of people in Ontario to primary care in the next several years, according to the release.
Since the launch of Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care one year ago, the government has reportedly been making steady progress to ensure the health care system has become better equipped to respond to the needs of patients and provide them with the right care in the right place, faster access to services and access to an expanded health care workforce.