January 19, 2011
Ontario continues to improve access to family health care and increase the number of Ontarians who have a family physician. Since April 2005, 200 Family Health Teams have been created across the province. It is expected that the 200 teams will improve access to health care for more than three million Ontarians.
Family Health Teams are a patient-centred primary care option that offers patients access to a number of primary health care services from a variety of team members, beyond a family doctor. Each Family Health Team has a core of health care professionals including doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses, and may employ a dietitian, a social worker, a pharmacist or other health care professionals to meet the needs of their patients.
Family Health Teams ensure that people receive the care they need in their communities, as each team is set-up based on local health and community needs. They work with other health care organizations, such as public health units and Community Care Access Centres to ensure patients receive high quality care.
Diverse populations in Ontario mean that there are different needs for different communities. As a result, the composition of a Family Health Team will be different from place to place. Family Health Teams are also taking advantage of electronic medical records to organize patients’ health information and share it securely with other health professionals.
Family Health Teams provide more service. For example patients attached to a Family Health Team have access to:
Telehealth Ontario also provides free access to a registered nurse 24/7 at 1-866-797-0000. A nurse can provide both health advice on a specific problem or general health information. They do not diagnose and do not replace your physician.
Your Health Care Options Medical Services directory at ontario.ca/healthcareoptions is a user-friendly searchable database of walk-in and after-hours clinics, urgent care centres, and family health care providers.Members of the media:
Neala Barton, 416-327-4388
David Jensen, 416-314-6197
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
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