Will Bouma
Will Bouma

Ontario Connecting More People to Primary Care Teams in Brantford, Brant, Six Nations and Surrounding Areas

NEWS February 15, 2024

BRANTFORD — The Ontario Government is investing $3,821,706.00 to connect more people to primary care teams in Brantford, Brant, Six Nations and surrounding communities.  This is part of Ontario’s $110 million investment to connect up to 328,000 people to primary care teams, bringing the province one step closer to connecting everyone in Ontario to primary care.

“As the MPP for Brantford-Brant, practicing Optometrist and active volunteer firefighter in the County of Brant, I hear constantly that healthcare is one of the most important kitchen table topics throughout the community”, said Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma. “With today’s investment, Ontario will be connecting 14,005 patients who are currently unattached to a primary health provider to a family health team.  Our Government is committed to a strong, quality, local and public healthcare system and this is a huge step to close the gap for people who do not have a family doctor”.

Ontario currently leads the country with 90 per cent of people connected to a regular health care provider. As a next step to close the gap for people not connected to primary care in the community, the province is supporting new and expanded interprofessional primary care teams in Brantford, Brant, Six Nations and surrounding areas.

  • In Brantford, the Grand River Community Health Clinic will receive $1,707,000.00. This funding will allow 9,450 unattached patients will be connected to a primary health team.
  • In Ohsweken, Six Nations of the Grand River Family Health Team will receive $1,850,000.00. This funding will allow 3,415 unattached patients will be connected to a primary health team.
  • In Hamilton, Niagara and Brantford, De dwa da dehs nye>s AHAC will receive $264,706.00. This funding will allow 1,140 unattached patients will be connected to a primary health team.

The totals for this investment: $3,821,706.00 and 14,005 new patients will be connected to a primary health provider.

Interprofessional primary care teams connect people to a range of health professionals that work together under one roof, and may include doctors, nurse practitioners, registered and practical nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and dietitians, among others. Timely access to primary care helps people stay healthier for longer with faster diagnosis and treatment, as well as more consistent support managing their day-to-day health while relieving pressures on emergency departments and walk-in clinics.

“Our government is making record investments to ensure that everyone that wants to have a primary care provider can connect to one,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “While there is more work to do, giving hundreds of thousands of more Ontarians the opportunity to connect to primary care brings us that much closer to this goal.”

“For over 25 years De dwa da dehs nye>s has been providing culturally safe programs and services that are relationship based, welcoming and individual directed to the urban Indigenous populations of Brantford/Brant and Hamilton regions and more recently in the Niagara Region.  Nyá:węh Gowa / Chi-Miigwetch to the Provincial Government for recognizing the importance of Indigenous Primary Care and for their dedication to improving health outcomes within our communities. This investment will not only strengthen our existing programs but will also enable us to introduce initiatives that address the specific health challenges faced by Indigenous populations.” Bryanne Smart, Board Chair.

“We are thrilled to receive additional funding for primary care in Brantford, Brant.  This funding will enable Grand River Community Health Centre to expand access to primary care with a focus on vulnerable populations including those who are homeless, have mental health and addictions concerns, 2SLGBTQ+ and others.  This funding will enhance chronic disease management, mental health, addictions and social supports by connecting services with primary care teams. We look forward to working with our community partners as we implement our expanded program”! – Linda Kohler, Executive Director.

“I am extremely pleased and grateful to know that this new annualized funding will help to alleviate our primary care crisis and support more than 3,000 members in our community, with access to primary care through our integrated care teams. I extend my appreciation to Ontario and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the Six Nations Family Health Team for making this possible”!  Chief Sherri-Lyn Hill, Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council

In addition to other historic investments to expand medical school spots and efforts to break down barriers so highly-skilled internationally-trained doctors can care for people in Ontario, Ministry of Health modelling shows that these initiatives will help connect up to 98 per cent of people in Ontario to primary care in the next several years.

Since the launch of Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care one year ago, the government has been making steady progress to ensure the health care system has become better equipped to respond to the needs of patients and provide them with the right care in the right place, faster access to services and access to an expanded health care workforce.

Quick Facts:

  • As a next step to close the gap for the 1.3 million people not connected to primary care in the province, the government is making a record investment of $90 million to add over 400 new primary care providers as part of 78 new and expanded interprofessional primary care teams. The new and expanded teams will include Family Health Teams, Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics, Community Health Centres and Indigenous Primary Health Care Organizations.
  • Ontario’s investment of $90 million dollars triples the original $30 million dollars earmarked to expand interprofessional primary care teams and will deliver over four times as many initiatives as outlined in our Your Health Plan almost a year ago.
  • The new and expanded teams are the result of a province-wide call for proposals that took place in 2023. All proposals were thoroughly reviewed by Ontario Health based on criteria prioritizing areas of greatest need, to connect a greater number of people currently without a regular primary care provider with these services closer to home.
  • Ontario is the first province to have a publicly funded Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic program. This is in addition to the new Practice Ready Ontario Program that will add 50 new physicians this year.
  • Ontario leads the country in how many people benefit from a long-term, stable relationship with a family doctor or primary care provider. Since 2018 the province has added over 80,000 new nurses and 10,300 new physicians to the health care system.
  • Ontario invests over $1 billion in interprofessional primary care teams annually.

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For more information call (519) 759-0361 or email will.bouma@pc.ola.org