On Friday, Parry Sound–Muskoka MPP Norman Miller announced the development of the Muskoka and Area Ontario Health Team, one of the first of 24 in the province that will implement a new, integrated model of care.
“This is an exciting time for health care in Ontario as we finally break down the long-standing barriers that have prevented care providers from working directly with each other to support patients throughout their health care journey,” Christine Elliott, the province’s health minister and deputy premier, said in a statement.
“Together with our health care partners, the Muskoka and Area Ontario Health Team will play an essential role in delivering on our commitment to end hallway health care and building a connected and sustainable public health care system centred around the needs of patients.”
The Muskoka and Area Ontario Health Team will be coordinated locally, anchored in primary care and community engagement to bring together a full spectrum of providers, from primary care to social services.
“With our new Muskoka and Area Ontario Health Team, patients will benefit from better integrated health care, with a seamless experience when moving between different health care services, providers and settings,” Elliott said in a statement.
The work of the new local health team will be implemented in phases over time, and during its first year, will focus on adults over 65 who are experiencing transitions in the health care system and are receiving care from two or more providers.
The local health team will also begin implementing some of its proposed programs and services next year.
“All of Muskoka and area will see the benefits in a coordinated and integrated health care delivery model,” Keith Cross, a family physician at the Cottage Country Family Health Team, said in a statement.
“We have all been making a great deal of effort to come to this point and have earned the support of primary care clinicians for this model, and I am looking forward to what will be coming next, for all of us.”
The Ontario Health Teams will be responsible for delivering care to their patients, understanding their health care history, directly connecting them to the different types of care they and providing around the clock help in navigating the system.