Family Health Teams play a prominent role in Ontario’s Health Links

The first 19 Health Links were announced today by Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Deb Matthews. Health Links bring together health care providers in a community to better and more quickly coordinate care for high-need patients.

Seven of the 19 Health Links announced today will be coordinated by family health teams:

This is a natural progression in the evolution of FHTs.  FHTs were created to join family doctors, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, dietitians, nurses, social workers and others to strengthen primary care – the first level of care over a person’s lifetime. Health Links promise to extend the care team – they will strengthen links between primary care providers and specialists, hospitals, and other community support agencies, to give high needs patients the wrap-around care they need.

Health Links start by looking at the people who have complex care needs, and builds on primary care as the foundation for a person’s health care. In choosing the Taddle Creek Family Health Team as the site for her announcement, the Minister underlined the central role that primary care plays for patients, and for the health system.  In addition to the seven Health Links to be coordinated by FHTs, four will be coordinated by community health centres, one by a family health organization and one by a community service agency. The remaining six will be coordinated by a mix of hospitals and community care access centres.

AFHTO looks forward to working with its members and other health care organizations to support the success of this initiative.

Click here for the Ministry’s press release and backgrounders, including the list of the first 19 Health Links.

AFHTO members can click here for more details about implementation of Health Links.

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