Ontario College of Family Physicians responds to Ontario’s plan, Your health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care
February 2, 2023 – The release of the provincial government’s plan, Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care is a positive step toward supporting Ontarians with improved access to a family doctor supported by a team.
The Ontario College of Family Physicians is pleased to see the recognition from the provincial government that family physicians are the foundation of our health system.
We welcome the government’s investment to expand equitable access to team-based care for Ontarians who are vulnerable, marginalized and do not have a family doctor by creating 18 new primary care teams. This is a step in the right direction.
The OCFP has been calling for the expansion of family doctor-led teams so that all Ontarians have this high quality of care with one door to a team of health care providers who know them, their family, and their health history.
Ontarians who have family doctors working in teams have far greater access to healthcare because they are supported by nurses, dietitians, social workers and others within primary care. However, 75 per cent of family doctors and their patients do not have access to teams.
Today’s announcement is a positive step in the right direction and aligns with our plan of action, Solutions for Today: Ensuring Every Ontarian Has Access to a Family Physician.
We also note the government’s commitment to support primary care networks within Ontario Health Teams. Primary care networks are an important structure to bring the voice of primary care into local OHT planning, decision-making and collaboration. We look forward to receiving more details about the government’s support and the opportunities for family physicians to participate.
The government’s recognition that more family doctors need to be trained, recruited and retained also aligns with OCFP’s plan of action. The provincial recommitment to the addition of 455 physician training spots and the launch of practice-ready assessments in 2023 is encouraging.
The OCFP notes that 52 new permanent spots are being added for physician assistants and we look forward to learning how those human resources will support primary care, as part of the health care team.
Over the coming months, the OCFP looks forward to working closely with family physicians and the government to improve access to care for Ontarians.
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About the Ontario College of Family Physicians
The OCFP represents more than 15,000 family doctors who support Ontarians in both urban and rural communities in our province. Our members have direct insight into the unique healthcare needs of Ontario’s varying populations. With their guidance, and together with our family physician members, the OCFP has developed three overarching solutions for Ontario parties to implement post-election that will increase access to care for more Ontarians.
Manager, Communications, OCFP