Ontario has granted London-Middlesex a new health team amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
Christine Elliott, the province’s minister of health, made the announcement at the Middlesex London Paramedic Services Headquarters Thursday morning.
“Our government is announcing five new Ontario health teams, including one right here in London-Middlesex,” Elliott said.
“The Western Ontario Health Team will implement a new model of care that will better connect patients and providers.”
Elliott said that in its first year, the Western Ontario Health Team will focus on “patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and/or congestive heart failure, who need more support and co-ordinated care to prevent future emergency hospital visits.”
Four other teams are also receiving approval. They are the Algoma Ontario Health Team in Algoma District, the Niagara Ontario Health Team in the Niagara Region, the Ottawa East Ontario Health Team in Eastern Ottawa, Eastern Champlain and part of Ottawa Centre, and the Western York Region Ontario Health Team in Vaughan, Richmond Hill and King City.
“Through an Ontario health team, patients experience easier transition from one provider to another,” said Elliott.
“For example, the transition from hospital to home care, with one patient story, one patient record and one care plan.”
Ontario’s minister of health also announced that the government is investing $25 million to support the 29 Ontario health teams currently in place.
Elliott said $9.5 million will be dedicated to virtual care, which includes remote clinic care and increased monitoring.
The remaining money will be split between all health teams to expand digital care, which includes “training, education, purchasing new tools and technology for virtual visits, booking online appointments and patient portals.”
An additional 17 health teams are also ready to apply for full applications, according to Elliott.
-With files from 980 CFPL’s Sawyer Bogdan