Today the Minister’s Office confirmed that funding letters regarding the compensation increases promised in the 2016 provincial budget are signed and will be going out within the next week. Click here to read the Minister’s announcement. Dates for web briefings with Ministry staff are being arranged. We expect to have further information out to you shortly.
FEBRUARY 25, 2016
“To ensure these clinics (CHCs, NPLCs, FHTs, AHACs and nursing stations) can effectively recruit and retain qualified interprofessional staff in primary care settings, Ontario will invest an additional $85 million over three years.” This is quoted from the 2016 Ontario Budget, released today. (p.115)
The Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOHC), the Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario (AFHTO) and the Nurse Practitioners Association of Ontario (NPAO) representatives have just emerged from the Ontario Government’s budget lock-up where we learned exciting news about compensation for staff in AHACs, CHC, FHTs and NPLCs.
In the budget lock-up, senior ministry officials committed to meet as soon as possible to work out the details on how the funds are to be allocated. To put this into perspective, the AFHTO-AOHC-NPAO proposal called for a total of $122 million in additional funds spread over four years; this commitment could potentially fund the first three years of the implementation.
We are pleased to have this financial commitment in place. We look forward to moving quickly to work through the implementation details. The AFHTO-AOHC-NPAO proposal continues to be the direction we are pursuing. We will keep members informed as these discussions progress.
Given the tough fiscal climate, we appreciate the fact the Wynne government prioritized this new funding in this year’s Ontario Budget. This was no small task when “the government has also succeeded in bringing down annual spending growth on health from about 7% to about 2% while continuing to improve access to care.” (p.113)
Today’s news comes after years of relentless advocacy by AFHTO, AOHC and NPAO. We have commissioned evidence informed reports, met with dozens of politicians and government officials, and worked collaboratively with our members who have taken up the torch with zeal and dedication. Your efforts have played a key role ensuring we secured this important win. We particularly want to acknowledge the work and support of the Dietitians of Canada who have also played an important role making the case for fair and equitable compensation. Other professional organizations such as the OPA and RNAO have joined the chorus of voices demanding fair and equitable compensation for our staff.
“Today, we are thrilled to hear that the Wynne government and Ministers Hoskins and Sousa have heard our collective voice. Within the 2016 Ontario Budget there is an investment that will help CHCs, FHTs, NPLCs and AHACs retain staff so as to better serve clients and communities. This investment shows that our interprofessional health provider team-members are valued” says Theresa Agnew, Nurse Practitioners Association of Ontario.
“With this new funding, the government has clearly committed to strengthen primary care as the foundation of Ontario’s health system,” says Angie Heydon, Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario. “This investment now puts interprofessional primary care teams onto more equal footing to attract and keep the skilled professionals needed to deliver better care, better health and better value for Ontarians.”
“We are very heartened that the Government has finally taken a step in the right direction to correct a serious imbalance in improving access to interprofessional primary health care. This is especially important because it will enable Ontario to do a better job ensuring people who face barriers to health can access the services they need from interprofessional teams.” says Adrianna Tetley, Association of Ontario Health Centres.
Association of Ontario Health Centres of Ontario
Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario
Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario