Ontario Connecting More People to Primary Care in Central Ontario
MISSISSAUGA — Ontario is connecting more people to primary care in their communities by increasing access to primary care teams across the province, including in Mississauga. This includes increasing the number of nurse practitioners across Ontario to make it faster and easier for people to access primary care when they need it, closer to home.
“This is a very exciting time for health care in Ontario,” said Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore, “as we’re finally breaking down barriers to allow care providers to work directly with each other, to better support patients and their families. Nurses will play an essential role in this work, delivering on our commitments to end hallway health care, and ensuring that all Ontarians have access to the care they deserve.”
To strengthen the health care workforce and ensure care is there for people when and where they need it, the province is adding 150 more education seats for nurse practitioners starting in 2023-2024, bringing the total number of new seats to 350 each year. Expanded access to education opportunities for nurses will also be provided by adding up to 500 registered practical nurse and 1,000 additional registered nurse education seats in 2023-2024. This is in addition to the 1,500 nursing education spots added in 2022-2023.
“This Nursing Week, May 8-14, I want to applaud nurses across Ontario for the invaluable role they play in providing connected and convenient care across this province,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “We are building the health care workforce by increasing education spots for nurses in all regions of Ontario and will continue to invest in programs to train, recruit, and retain more nurses as we build a stronger, more resilient health care system.”
In the region, the government is investing in:
- providing funding to Dufferin Area Family Health Team to hire an additional Registered Nurse to support mental health and diabetes services, as well as a Registered Dietitian, a Chiropodist, a Mental Health Therapist, and a Social Worker;
- providing funding to hire an additional Nurse Practitioner and Social Worker at the Couchiching Family Health Team in Orillia; and,
- new education spots to train 86 Registered Practical Nurses and 25 Registered Nurses.
To improve access to primary care in areas of greatest need and help bridge the gap in accessing interprofessional primary care for vulnerable, marginalized, and people without a primary care provider, Ontario is expanding and creating up to 18 new interprofessional primary care teams. Ontario will call on primary care providers and organizations such as Family Health Teams, Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics, Indigenous Primary Health Care Organizations, and Community Health Centres to begin the application process.
Growing interprofessional primary care teams, supporting mental health and increasing education opportunities for health human resources in every region will ensure that people can get the care they need right in their own communities.
- Primary care and family physicians are the foundation of Ontario’s health care system. Interprofessional primary care teams include doctors, nurses, socials workers, and other health care professionals who work together to provide comprehensive primary care programs and services based on the needs of their communities.
- Ontario is investing in expanding Community Health Centres, Family Health Teams, Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics, and Indigenous Primary Health Care Organizations to help more people get the care they need close to home.
- The Ontario government is covering tuition and other direct educational expenses for students studying in priority programs, including nursing, through the Learn and Stay Grant.
- The province is also reducing fees for nurses and making it easier for health care workers from across the country and across the world who want to work in Ontario – all as part of Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care.