Ontario Connecting More People to Primary Care Teams in Oxford

February 16, 2024

WOODSTOCK — The Ontario government is investing $1,436,950 to connect more people to primary care teams through the Oxford County Community Health Centre and Thames Valley Family Health Team. 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.

“This investment by the province in the Oxford County Community Health Centre (OCCHC) and Thames Valley Family Health Team will significantly grow our primary care capacity in and near Oxford and serve approximately 2,340 residents in our community,” said Ernie Hardeman, MPP for Oxford.  

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 the expansion of interprofessional primary care teams in Oxford.

Interprofessional primary care teams connect people to a range of health professionals that work 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.

“We are extremely pleased to be expanding Interprofessional Primary Care to Tillsonburgthis new initiative represents a long-standing goal of the Community Health Centre,” said Randy Peltz, executive director OCCHC. “The proposed initial team – Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse, and Social Worker – will add primary care and additional counselling to our existing satellite team located at the Livingston Centre. The goal is to attach 500 of the most marginalized and medically complex individuals in the Tillsonburg area to comprehensive & connected medical care close to home. This will be accomplished through a close partnership with Oxford County Community Paramedicine Program.”  

Thames Valley Family Health Team operates 18 sites across Oxford and Elgin counties and London/Middlesex with teams of family physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, dietitians, social workers, pharmacists, occupational and respiratory therapists.

“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.”

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.