On February 6, 2023 AFHTO submitted our recommendations to the government for their 2023 budget. Recommendations 1 and 2 of our 2023 pre-budget submission was done in collaboration with partners in the Primary Care Collaborative and recommendation 3 and 4 are two other recommendations AFHTO is advocating for.
With primary care at the foundation, our submission lays out what is needed to help build a province where people can access better care, more integrated care, and more accessible and continuous care.
Our recommendations are broken into four sections:
1. Make team-based primary care available to more Ontarians through an investment of an additional $75 million per year for 10 years.
Every Ontarian deserves access to comprehensive and equitable care where and when they need it. It’s time for Ontario to commit to ensuring access to a comprehensive interprofessional primary care team for every person who needs it. This would be achievable with a commitment to invest $75 million per year for the next 10 years in team-based care.
2. Address the health human resource (HHR) crisis in primary care through the creation of a primary care HHR table.
In addition, we need to attract healthcare providers to care for our aging and increasingly complex patients. The retention and attraction of healthcare workers in primary care is a challenge we cannot face alone. We are proposing to create a primary care HHR table for future HHR and capacity planning that includes all PCC partners, the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health.
3. Provide mental health and addictions services and home and community care in coordination with primary care.
We need a health system that is truly integrated. Care coordination and system navigation is a key function of primary care and should be foundational in realizing the vision of OHTs. To be most effective, critical mental health and addictions and home and community care supports must be embedded in primary care—the most effective setting to facilitate seamless transitions in care and offer patients a single point of contact in their health care journey.
4. Provide resources to support the implementation of primary care networks (PCNs) and recognize PCNs as the organizing model for primary care.
PCNs will enable horizontal integration, enhancing the capacity of primary care physicians and nurse practitioners to support each other and their patients while facilitating local care planning with their respective OHTs. PCNs will benefit all primary care physicians and nurse practitioners practising under all funding models by streamlining supports and available resources.