Ontario Connecting More Than 73,000 People to Primary Care Teams in Eastern Ontario

Press Release

May 16, 2024

OTTAWA — The Ontario government is investing nearly $22 million to connect more than 73,000 people to primary care teams in Eastern Ontario. This is part of Ontario’s $110 million investment to connect up to 328,000 people to primary care providers, bringing the province one step closer to connecting everyone in Ontario to primary care.

“Our government is making record investments to ensure everyone who wants to have a primary care provider can connect to one,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “While there is more work to do, giving tens of thousands of more people in the region the opportunity to connect to primary care brings us that much closer to this goal.”

Ontario currently leads the country with 90 per cent of people connected to a regular health care provider. As a next step to close the gap for those not connected to primary care in Eastern Ontario, the province is supporting nine different interprofessional primary care initiatives. These will connect more than 73,000 Ontarians with primary care teams and provide services including:

  • A new Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic in Ottawa will provide comprehensive, interprofessional primary care for people living with mental health and addiction challenges.
  • A new Family Health Team in Renfrew County will focus on providing mental health and addictions support, as well as helping seniors manage chronic diseases.
  • A new Family Health Team in Lanark County that will focus on supporting vulnerable people – particularly seniors who are currently without a primary care provider.
  • An expanded Family Health Team in Brockville will now be able to offer more primary care services for communities in Leeds-Grenville.
  • Expanded services in Cornwall with funding to help three different interprofessional teams to work together to help close gaps in care for the region.
  • A Community Health Centre site in Kingston that will provide care to newborns, pre- and post-natal care, as well as support people who have been discharged from the hospital and require timely follow-up care, such as cancer patients.
  • A new Community Health Centre in Peterborough will help break down barriers to care for people in the region including Indigenous communities.
  • Expanded services in an existing Family Health Team in Campbellford to include additional nurse practitioners, more service hours from existing team providers and a new health promoter who will lead education and prevention programs in the community.
  • Expanded support for an existing Family Health Team in Port Perry that will help more patients connect with primary care services.

Interprofessional primary care teams connect people to a range of health professionals who 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 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.

The record investment of $90 million will add over 400 new primary care providers and 78 new and expanded interprofessional primary care teams across the province. 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 these initiatives will help connect up to 98 per cent of people in Ontario to primary care in the next several years.

An additional $20 million will provide a boost to all existing interprofessional primary care teams to help them meet increased operational costs for their facilities and supplies so they can continue to provide high-quality care.

Since the launch of Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care one year ago, the government has 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.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s investment of $90 million dollars triples the original $30 million dollars earmarked to expand interprofessional primary care teams and will deliver over four times as many initiatives as outlined in the Your Health Plan.
  • As part of the 2024 Ontario Budget, through an additional $546 million over three years, the province is creating new and expanded primary care teams to connect approximately 600,000 people to team-based primary care.
  • Ontario is the first province to have a publicly funded Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic program and with the provincewide primary care team expansion, Ontario is adding six new and expanded Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics.
  • Since 2018, Ontario has added 12,500 new physicians and is continuing to grow the workforce by breaking down barriers for internationally educated physicians, including through the new Practice Ready Ontario Program that will add 50 new physicians this year.
  • The new and expanded teams are the result of a provincewide call for proposals that took place in 2023. All proposals were thoroughly reviewed by Ontario Health based on criteria prioritizing areas of greatest need, to connect a greater number of people currently without a regular primary care provider with these services closer to home.
  • Ontario leads the country in how many people benefit from a long-term, stable relationship with a family doctor or primary care provider. Since 2018, the province has added over 80,000 new nurses and 12,500 new physicians to the health care system.

Quotes

“This investment to Trent Hills Family Health Team in Campbellford is just a step in the right direction to having all rural Ontario connected with a primary care provider. The Ontario Government realizes that Family Health Teams play a critical role in transforming the way communities access health care and in delivering better patient care. I am proud our community is a part of this expansion. ”
– David Piccini
MPP for Northumberland – Peterborough South

“These investments, made under the leadership of Premier Ford and Minister Jones, will profoundly benefit the people of Durham by connecting more families to the new and expanded interprofessional primary care team, keeping our community healthy for years to come,” said Todd McCarthy, MPP for Durham. “This network will ensure that the people of Durham have access to improved health services, closing the gap for our community to better access the care they deserve.”

– Todd McCarthy
MPP for Durham

“This investment in the expansion of primary care teams in Eastern Ontario will benefit our region. The funding for expansion services in Cornwall will help three interprofessional teams to work together to provide necessary healthcare. This brings us one step closer to making sure no one in our community is left behind in our healthcare system.”

– Nolan Quinn
MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

“Our government continues to make important investments in Peterborough-Kawartha. The new funding for our local health teams will serve over 11,000 community members. Up to 6,000 people will be rostered with a primary care provider and thousands more will be served through nurse practitioners and wellness programs. The new Community Health Center will be designed to help some of Peterborough’s most marginalized and vulnerable population, which will help keep people out of hospitals, and will be attract more health care providers to the area. Under the leadership of Premier Doug Ford and – Dave Smith
MPP for Peterborough-Kawartha

“I want to thank the people of Mallorytown and the entire riding for their support of the need to expand primary care,” said Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. “I look forward to working with the Upper Canada Family Health Team and community partners to serve this significant amount of unattached patients.”
– Steve Clark
MPP for Leeds-Grenville

“This is tremendous news for residents of Renfrew and the surrounding area, particularly to those who currently do not have a primary care physician. Giving more patients access to a family doctor, will go a long way in easing strain and overcrowding in our emergency departments, and to those who staff them. I am most grateful to all those involved with the Ancient Rivers Family Health Team, and for their leadership in this initiative. I am also grateful to our government for providing the necessary funding.”
– John Yakabuski
MPP Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke

“I am pleased with the direction the Perth Family Health Team is taking with this new Primary Care Funding. The funding is for the community and will provide access to Primary Health Care Services including Mental Health & Addictions, increased support services for our senior population, occupational therapy and connecting thousands of people to a primary care provider. This significant investment is a critical step toward improving health care access for patients who are unattached and most vulnerable in our communities. ”

– John Jordan
MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston

“I am so grateful to see this provincial investment come to our area. 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.”

– Ric Bresee
MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington

Additional Resources

Related Topics

Government
Learn about the government services available to you and how government works. Learn more

Health and Wellness

Get help navigating Ontario’s health care system and connecting with the programs or services you’re looking for. Learn more

Media Contacts

Hannah Jensen
Minister Jones’ Office
Hannah.R.Jensen@ontario.ca

Anna Miller
Communications Branch
media.moh@ontario.ca
416-314-6197

IHT6

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More