Toronto, Jan. 6, 2017 – The Association of Family of Health Teams of Ontario (AFHTO) is strongly urging a return to the table between the federal and provincial governments to negotiate a health agreement that will ensure we have a long-term sustainable health system today and for future generations. The proposed offer by the federal government on December 19th, 2016 of a 3.5% annual increase in the Canada Health Transfer (CHT), plus limited targeted funding over 10 years, did not take into account the growing health care needs, the increasing complexity of our health care system or the funding needed for true system transformation. As a result, AFHTO supports the province in its call for an increase in CHT by a minimum of 5.2%, an evidence-based figure that is supported by the Conference Board of Canada and the Parliamentary Budget Officer.
AFHTO is pleased with the targeted priorities identified by both levels of government in the areas of mental health, palliative care and home care, all of which is managed and coordinated in primary care. Primary care, the long-term relationship each person has with their family doctor or nurse practitioner, is key to keeping people healthy and to keeping health system costs in check. Coordinating patient care is a fundamental role of primary care, which is the foundation of Ontario’s complex health system… however, patients do not always move through the system as smoothly as they could and often fall through the cracks of our complex systems. Increasing access to interprofessional team-based primary care by strengthening mental health programming and service delivery and building capacity for more home care services and caregiver support is very much needed – evidence demonstrates that investment in primary care is associated with improved system quality, equity and efficiency (reduced cost). And most importantly, a better health experience for our patients as they become partners in their own health, alongside their providers and health care teams.
AFHTO calls for the federal and provincial governments to collaborate on an agreement that will support a patient-focused health care system that will sustain health care for the long term and be accessible and available for all Canadians when they need it.
Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario
AFHTO is the advocate, network and resource for team-based primary care in Ontario. Primary care teams speed up access to care and offer a wider range of programs and services to promote health and manage chronic disease. They bring together the variety of skills needed to help people stay as healthy as possible.