Ontario Health Teams Will Provide Better Coordinated Care for Ontarians and Support the Province’s COVID-19 Response
TWEED — As part of its plan to end hallway health care and build an integrated health care system centred on the needs of patients, the Ontario government in partnership with Ontario Health is announcing eight new Ontario Health Teams located across the province. The province will provide up to $9 million in funding over the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 fiscal years to support these teams in their efforts to seamlessly coordinate health care services for patients and ensure the province’s health care system can respond to any scenario as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve..
“Throughout the pandemic, Ontario Health Teams have been an essential part of the province’s COVID-19 response, working quickly across all partners to support each other and protect the health and safety of Ontarians,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “These new eight teams will build on the progress made to date by improving outcomes for even more patients and making it easier for Ontarians to navigate their health care journey during COVID-19 and in the future.”
The eight new Ontario Health Teams are:
- Hastings Prince Edward OHT in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties;
- Upper Canada, Cornwall and Area OHT in the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, City of Cornwall, Akwesasne, parts of Russell Township and rural Southeast Ottawa;
- Four Rivers OHTin North Grenville, West Ottawa, Northern Lanark County, and Arnprior, McNab and Braeside;
- Network 24 OHT in the majority of Renfrew County and the Township of South Algonquin in Nipissing District;
- Grey-Bruce OHT in Grey and Bruce Counties;
- Barrie and Area OHT in Barrie and surrounding areas;
- Elgin OHT in Elgin County; and
- North Simcoe OHT in Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny and Tay Townships, and Christian Island.
Ontario Health Teams are part of a new approach to health care that brings together health care providers as one collaborative team. Working together, they ensure that patients experience easier transitions with one patient story, one patient record and one care plan that is shared between the health care providers. With the addition of these new teams, the province now has a total of 50 Ontario Health Teams which will cover 92 per cent of the province’s population at maturity.
“It is integral that our approach to health care is centred upon what Ontarians really need. As the health system evolves, Ontario Health Teams will be critical in creating a system centred on meaningful partnership and co-design with patients, families and caregivers,” said Betty-Lou Kristy, Chair of the Minister’s Patient and Family Advisory Council. “I look forward to supporting teams to build a connected and integrated health care system that is focused on improving the health care journey for all Ontarians.”
Thanks to these efforts to better coordinate care and share resources, Ontario Health Teams have been able to respond more quickly and effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working across the entire continuum of care, teams have supported a suite of initiatives that include leading local vaccine rollouts, supporting long-term care homes and other congregate care settings, distributing personal protective equipment, staffing assessment centres and leveraging virtual care. In particular, many teams have helped to address the unique needs of underserved communities by accelerating community outreach efforts and co-designing targeted health interventions.
To support the eight new teams, the government is providing each team with up to $1.1 million in one-time funding over the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 fiscal years. This funding can be used by each Ontario Health Team to support the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and coordinate programs that strengthen health system capacity by linking hospitals, primary care, home care and community services, and other services.
“Ontario Health Teams have been critical in the province’s fight against COVID-19 and in building an integrated, connected health care system centred around the needs of patients,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “By expanding the number of teams, we will continue to ensure patients have access to the supports they need throughout their health care journey with seamless transitions between care.”