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  • News
  • November 07, 2017

Ontario Boosting Access to Primary Care for People Across the Province

Province Expanding and Enhancing Interprofessional Health Care Teams

As part of the 2017 Budget, Ontario is helping more people across the province access teams of health care professionals, to ensure patients can receive comprehensive and personalized health care where they need it.

Lou Rinaldi, M.P.P. for Northumberland Quinte West, was at the Brighton Quinte West Family Health Team in Brighton to highlight Ontario’s new investments in interprofessional care.

These health care teams bring together a diverse group of health care professionals to help meet the individual and often complex needs of patients. These teams can include doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, physician assistants, dietitians, pharmacists, mental health workers, social workers, psychologists, physiotherapists, chiropractors and other professionals.

The Brighton Quinte West Family Health Team will receive additional new base funding of $270,154 and one-time funding of $28,300 to enhance quality and access to health care in the community.

There are currently 294 interprofessional care teams across Ontario that are delivering care to more than four million people. Ontario is investing $248.4 million over the next three years to:

  • Support existing teams, including recruiting new staff and retaining current health care workers
  • Create new care teams across the province so that every region in Ontario has at least one team.

Interprofessional care teams deliver primary care to help patients with their specific health care goals and needs, ranging from managing chronic disease, to addressing complex health needs, to helping a patient deal with a life challenge that is negatively impacting their health. These teams also empower patients and their families to be active participants in working toward their health care goals.

Ontario is increasing access to care, reducing wait times and improving the patient experience through its Patients First Action Plan for Health Care and OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare Program - protecting health care today and into the future.


“Our investment in team-based care will improve access to primary care for communities across the province who need it most. Patients receive better care when providers from all disciplines work closely with, and learn from, their health care colleagues. Caring for someone by combining everyone’s expertise can only result in better health outcomes for those who need and deserve the best health care."

— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care   

"I'm very proud to have been at the forefront of Family Health Teams in Ontario. This investment continues to support a "full circle" approach to health care and will increase access to services for the entire community."

— Lou Rinaldi, M.P.P., Northumberland-Quinte West

"Since it's inception with the first wave of Family Health Teams in Ontario, the Brighton/Quinte West Family Health Team has worked hard to bring high quality health care to our patient base. We have excellent governance and numerous clinical programs run by our dedicated and professional staff. We use an electronic medical record keeping system and we are leveraging this system for information management and communication with outside agencies and patients themselves. We are an increasingly utilized teaching site for undergraduate, medical resident and nurse practitioner training."

"Our organization has grown continuously and we now provide care to close to 13,000 patients. The quality of our team has helped us successfully recruitment new physicians to serve our communities. We are very pleased to be recognized by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care with our new and significantly increased funding. We are careful and responsible stewards of Ontario tax payer dollars and we look forward to the stability and opportunities for growth that our new funding will provide."  

— Richard Wiginton, BSc MD CCFP, Lead Physician, Brighton Quinte West Family Health Team

On behalf of the Brighton Quinte West Family Health Team, we are extremely pleased with the commitment by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for the clinical investment in our interprofessional team.  The past few years have seen significant growth in our patient population as well as the recruitment of new physicians to the area.  The annual funding acknowledges the provision of high quality primary care to our patients and families and responds to our need for increased programs and services in the Brighton, Colborne and Quinte West communities.

— Wendy Parker, Executive Director, Brighton Quinte West Family Health Team

“We want to thank the government today for strengthening high-quality, people-centred primary care – the foundation of Ontario’s health system – by improving access to interprofessional teams for the Ontarians who need it most. Planning based on people’s needs means better health outcomes for everyone, and fair compensation means our teams can recruit and retain the highly skilled, caring and committed health professional’s people and communities need.”

— Adrianna Tetley, CEO, Association of Ontario Health Centres

“We congratulate Minister Hoskins and the government of Ontario for making interprofessional primary care teams a strategic priority. The expansion of primary care teams across the province coupled with the resources that will improve recruitment and retention of primary care providers will enhance and sustain positive health outcomes for our clients, the organizations that serve them and the Ontario health system as a whole. This announcement will ensure the inclusion of diverse healthcare voices in collaborative decision making which we know is the best measure of quality client care.”

— Notisha Massaquoi, Executive Director, Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre


  • The Trent Hills FHT will received $79,600 in additional base funding to support recruitment and retention.
  • The Northumberland FHT will receive $107,000 in additional base funding to support recruitment and retention, and $51,134 in additional base funding and $8,000 in one-time funding to enhance quality and access to health care in the community.
  • Ontario’s $248.4 million investment over three years in Interprofessional Care Teams includes $102 million to support the expansion of interprofessional primary care teams, and around $145 million for the recruitment and retention of dedicated health care professionals to support these teams.
  • $15 million will be invested in 2017/18 to create new or expand existing interprofessional care teams so that all 76 sub-regions across the province have a team.
    • This investment is in addition to the $85 million in investments in interprofessional teams in the 2016 Budget.
    • As part of the 2017 Budget, Ontario also announced that it is making prescription medications free for all children and youth 24 years of age and younger, regardless of family income. Coverage will be automatic, with no upfront costs.



For further information:

Lou Rinaldi, MPP, Northumberland-Quinte West                                          




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