The Ontario government is investing $1.1 million to connect more people to primary care teams in Sault Ste. Marie. This 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.
“This announcement is good news for the people of Sault Ste. Marie. Creating an estimated 4,450 net new unattached patient spaces,” said Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie. “We will continue to work towards ensuring that every Saultite that wants a primary care provider has access to one.”
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 people not connected to primary care in the community, the province is supporting new and expanded interprofessional primary care teams in Sault Ste. Marie.
In Sault Ste. Marie this funding will allow for the Sault Community Health Centre to service 2,275 patients and Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services Inc. to serve an additional 2,275 patients.
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.
“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. “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.
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.