Navigating the health care system may be easier than you think. Across Ontario, tools and services have been created to better meet the changing healthcare needs of all Ontarians from all ethnic communities.
These services include community health centres, family health teams and urgent care centres. This means improved access to primary care providers and different options to access care when you or someone in your family needs it the most.
For ethnic communities, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has created health care fact sheets available in 26 different languages including German, Italian, Mandarin and Bengali, available at www.ontario.ca/healthcareoptions.
These different services provide care that will help curb ER wait times and improve access to primary care providers.
While family physicians and ER doctors continue to play an invaluable role in the health care system, nurses and other practitioners have taken on larger roles in delivering primary care. Ontarians are empowered to make the right choice based on their individual needs.
Healthcare options available in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) include:
• More than 100 community health centres that provide support and services for immigrants and ethnic communities to better use the health care system;
• 300 family health teams, comprised of health care practitioners including nurse practitioners, dietitians and family doctors that provide collaborative and integrated care;
• Expanded breast screening centres, with 155 clinics that provide women 50 plus with mammograms (without a referral from a doctor) to help detect breast cancer;
• Nurse practitioners, that lead primary healthcare in many health-care settings including nurse practitioner-led clinics who diagnose, treat and help people manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma. 25 nurse practitioner-led clinics will be open across the province by the spring of 2012;
• 15 urgent care centres in major cities that provide diagnosis and treatment for non-life threatening illnesses and accidents helping to ease ER congestion while delivering fast and effective care.
Knowing your local health care options helps you make the right decision based on your own individual health needs and the health needs of your loved ones.
The Ontario government is using a modern, improved access to care approach to deliver health- care to Ontarians. You now have more healthcare options available to you that provide enhanced individualized, patient-centered care.
You can visit www.ontario.ca healthcare options to learn more about the options available in your community.
– NEWS CANADA