New health care model to bring together all aspects of health care providers
NORTH BAY – The province is introducing a new health care model called Ontario Health Teams that brings together all aspects of health care providers to work as one team.
There will be 24 of these health teams across the province with one of the teams based in North Bay.
"This is what the doctors, the EMS people, all of the nurse practitioners, all of the mental health and addictions people, all of the partners have asked for this for years and we're delivering," said Vic Fedeli, Nipissing MPP.
Last week, the province announced five health care agencies were being transferred over to Ontario Health. The 14 LHIN organizations will also be grouped into five regions and will be eventually moved over to Ontario Health as well.
Fedeli says this move will create a system that is more localized, centralized and puts patients first.
"It's all about ending hallway healthcare and this is a big step towards doing that," said Fedeli.
The Near North Ontario Health Team will serve the Nipissing and East Parry Sound regions, as well as Francophones, First Nations, Inuit and Metis patients. The team will include doctors and more than 30 partners involved in primary, hospital and long-term care, mental health and addictions, and home care.
"The biggest benefit at the maturity state of Ontario Health Teams is that there's a coordinated plan amongst the providers and there's support for patients navigating the system and access to it 24/7," said Jaymie-Lynn Blanchard, North Bay Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic.
Dr. Paul Preston will serve as the Co-Chair of the Near North team and he says closing the gaps will allow a more seamless approach to treating patients.
"Patients should feel a lot more cared for by a whole system so they get treated as a whole person… All the care is connected and there's no gap in the care and there's no redundant care," commented Preston.
CTV News reached out to Nickel Belt MPP and health critic France Gelinas. She says the health care plan has potential but believe it's only going to benefit patients in the long run.
"It's not going to help them in the short-term. There are still long wait lists and overcrowded hospitals. Right now in Ontario, over 1,000 patients admitted to hospital will be stuck in a bathroom or TV room and that's not acceptable," said Gelinas.
The local Near North team is expected to start putting in place some of its proposed programs and services next year and is currently in the process of creating a one-number access line.
The team will also check in with patients about health care changes they want to see.