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Province announces $1.4M to boost primary care teams in Georgina

February 13, 2024

Posted on: February 13th, 2024. By: Newmarket Today Staff,, Original Article.

The funds will go to a new location that will support new and expanded interprofessional primary care teams under one roof and serve 2,730 patients in Keswick and area

The Ontario government is providing $1.4 million to connect more people to primary care teams in Georgina.

The funds will go to a new location that will support new and expanded interprofessional primary care teams under one roof and serve 2,730 patients in Keswick and the surrounding area.

“This significant investment is exactly what the residents of Keswick and Georgina need. Access to primary health care will be closer to home,” York-Simcoe MPP Caroline Mulroney said in a news release today.

The new and expanded teams are the result of a provincewide call for proposals that took place in 2023, the Ontario government said.

“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.”

The funding is a “game-changer for primary care in our communities,” Southlake Regional Health Centre president and CEO Paul Woods said.

“Southlake strongly supports the Northern York South Simcoe Ontario Health Team pursuit to establish an interprofessional primary care team to improve care in our catchment area,” he added. “It’s critical that we strengthen the relationship among physicians, primary and social care providers in the community with hospitals to better serve patients in the most appropriate care setting to meet their needs.”

The funding is a “significant milestone” in improving the well-being of residents of Georgina and surrounding areas, Christina Bisanz, co-chair of the Northern York South Simcoe Ontario Health Team, said.

The funding comes from an Ontario government pot of $110 million aimed at extending primary care to to 328,000 people across the province.

While 90 per cent of Ontarians are connected to a regular health-care provider, according the province, this funding takes “a next step to close the gap” for the 1.3 million people without primary care providers.

Interprofessional primary care teams connect residents to a range of health professionals working together under one roof, including 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,” the province stated.

“When this term of council was elected, health care was identified as a key priority in the development of our strategic plan. Today’s announcement is such good news for our community and we appreciate this support,” said Georgia Mayor Margaret Quirk.

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

Ontario provides funding of more than $1 billion in interprofessional primary care teams annually, the release said.