Ontario's Doctors Support Collaborative Care to Keep Patients Front and Centre

    TORONTO, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) is very
pleased with today's announcement by Health Minister David Caplan to move
ahead with additional Family Health Teams (FHTs). However, the OMA is
disappointed the government plans to also move ahead with independent Nurse
Practitioner Clinics.
    "At a time when health profession resources are stretched thin, it is
puzzling why the government would create competition within the health care
system for these resources rather than promoting collaboration," said Dr. Ken
Arnold, President of the OMA. "Family Health Teams are a highly effective and
tested collaborative care model that provides a comprehensive level of care to
patients and adding more FHTs to the system is good news for patients and
Ontario's doctors."
    Ontario's doctors have long advocated for collaborative health care teams
such as FHTs, where various health professionals work together under one roof
to provide care to a large number of patients. By comparison, independent
nurse practitioner clinics run directly counter to these integrated care
models. In addition, according to the Registered Nurses Association of
Ontario, there is a shortage of 9,000 nurses in the province.
    Over the past four years, collaborative health care teams have helped
take on an additional 630,000 patients who previously didn't have a family
doctor. Specifically, the Blue Sky Family Health Team in North Bay serves
30,000 patients, up from 18,000 when it was established in 2005. Comparatively
speaking, the Nurse Practitioner Clinic in Sudbury has taken on a mere 1,900
patients since it opened its doors in 2007.
    "In the most recent agreement between the OMA and the government,
Ontario's doctors committed to finding a family doctor for an additional
500,000 patients in the province," said Dr. Arnold. "We need to continue
working together to ensure every patient in this province has a family

For further information:

For further information: OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or
toll-free at 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2862

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Ontario Medical Association

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