Evidence from around the world, and more recently in Ontario, demonstrates that the introduction of primary care teams is providing patients with better care, at the best value. AFHTO supports government’s election commitment to guarantee timely access to primary care in Ontario, and their recognition of the need to improve the recruitment and retention of community-based primary care teams.
There is a growing crisis, however, in Ontario’s ability to deliver interprofessional primary care. The loss of skilled staff needed to deliver this care – nurses, nurse practitioners, dietitians, social workers, pharmacists, etc. – and the inability to fill vacant positions makes it more and more difficult for Ontarians to access team-based primary care. On January 30, AFHTO presented to the Ontario Legislature’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs regarding the Pre-Budget Consultations on the urgent need for sufficient funding to enable primary care organizations to attract and keep these professionals.
On February 5, AFHTO responded to a column in the Toronto Star about home and community care and the current strike by workers in 10 Community Care Access Centres – Eric Hoskins’ best chance to fix the ailing health system. On February 13, the Toronto Star published AFHTO’s letter in response to the article, click here to read the letter and other responses to the article. Our letter emphasizes the critical role of primary care, and points out how the work of primary care teams has been grossly undervalued in relation to other parts of Ontario’s health system.
Ontario Budget Talks portal: AFHTO members have your say and ask the government to address recruitment and retention
The Ontario government has recently opened Budget Talks 2015, an online portal for Ontarians to offer feedback to the government on 2015/16 budget planning. In keeping with the work already begun, you can visit Budget Talks 2015 to lend your voice to the call to support recruitment and retention in primary care teams and/or vote for messages posted by your peers:
Additional resources are available for AFHTO members (log in to Members Only before clicking on any of the links below):