New Agreement With Doctors Improves Access To Care

    McGuinty Government And Doctors Will Work To Get A Family Doctor For
    500,000 Ontarians

    TORONTO, Oct. 18 /CNW/ -


    The McGuinty government has reached a new agreement with the Ontario
Medical Association that includes a shared commitment to help 500,000
Ontarians without a family physician find one.
    The commitment is the driving force behind a new program called Health
Care Connect that will connect patients with family health care providers who
are taking on new patients. Health care professionals in each of the 14 Local
Health Integration Networks will connect people with appropriate health care
providers in their community. The program will be launched in February, 2009.
    Other key components of the agreement ratified by Ontario Medical
Association members on October 18 include:

    -  Reducing congestion in hospital emergency rooms
    -  Providing funding for 500 nurses to join group practices
    -  Helping patients who have chronic diseases - such as diabetes - better
       manage their condition and reduce their need for emergency health
    -  Ensuring Ontario remains the jurisdiction of choice for future
       physicians with a new program that will defer interest on medical
       resident debt
    -  Improving access to community mental health services provided by


    "This new agreement reflects the common vision shared by our government
and the province's doctors on how to improve health care for all Ontarians,"
said Health and Long-Term Care Minister David Caplan. "We expect significant
progress to be made in the next few years in family health care becoming
available to more Ontarians and hospital emergency departments becoming less


    -  The agreement with the OMA will cover the period April 1, 2008 to
       March 31, 2012


    Find out more about the government's priorities to improve Ontarians'
access to health care
    Read about Family Health Teams
( in the province.

    For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161
    (Toll-free in Ontario only)
                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Steve Erwin, Minister's Office, (416) 326-3986;
Andrew Morrison, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197

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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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