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Brampton/Etobicoke and Area Ontario Health Team chosen as one of first in province

Partners representing the Brampton/Etobicoke and Area Ontario Health Team (OHT) came together to celebrate a significant milestone in local health care. The Brampton/Etobicoke and Area OHT will be one of the first in the province, paving the way for the creation of a better system of care for local residents.

Local partners’ plan details a new model for enhanced patient care and more equitable, efficient health services across region

December 6, 2019, BRAMPTON/ETOBICOKE – Today, the Ontario Government announced that Brampton, Etobicoke and area would be home to one of the province’s first Ontario Health Teams (OHT). The Honourable Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and MPP for Brampton South, made the announcement this morning on behalf of Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health at the Queen Square Family Health Team offices in Brampton. Amarjot Sandhu, MPP Brampton West, was also in attendance.

“Families across Brampton deserve the sort of quality health care our growing and vibrant community needs,” said Minister Sarkaria. “With today’s announcement, we move one step closer to ending hallway health care for Bramptonians, and improving health outcomes for patients throughout our community.”

“The OHT in Brampton/Etobicoke and area will help patients through a community-based health care delivery model that connects care - and includes primary care and hospitals, home care and long-term care, mental health and addictions supports, and other health care services,” added Sandhu. “Being a proud representative of Brampton, I’m excited to see how the Government of Ontario is planning to implement a new model of organizing and delivering health care that better connects patients and providers in their communities to improve patient outcomes in the region.”

The Brampton/Etobicoke and Area OHT focus is on a central ‘hub’ available, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and staffed by health care professionals knowledgeable about all the health, community, home care and social services available in the region. Patients and caregivers will be able to connect with the services they need with just one phone call.

“As a physician who has practiced in this community for years, I see first-hand the challenges that our patients and providers experience in navigating the system,” said Dr. Brian Klar, Family Physician, West Vaughan Family Health Organization. “Our OHT team is thrilled the Government is leading the development of, and championing this new model for health care in the province – as well as supporting us to provide more seamless, integrated care for the community we collectively serve.”

As users of the integrated care hub, providers will have better access to specialist physicians and nurse navigators for their patients, along with evidence-based care pathways to ensure an improved care experience. Given the large percentage of physicians in the community without broader care team resources and supports like nurses, dieticians, or physiotherapists, the hub presents an opportunity to “equalize the playing field” for both patients and providers in the area. 

“This is a tremendous opportunity as a community of health partners to come together to build a more connected system that enables better access and coordination to services for our patients, and ensures we all have the right information easily accessible to help make better care decisions,” said Kiki Ferrari, Executive Vice President, Clinical Operations, William Osler Health System. “It’s an exciting time for this community as local health partners lead the way in transforming the system and ensuring more integrated, connected care across the region.”  

The Brampton/Etobicoke and Area OHT is one of the largest among the province’s first OHTs. Of the 186 members, 144 are physicians and physician groups – collectively serving a population of close to 900,000 people within the Brampton, Bramalea, North Etobicoke, Malton and West Woodbridge regions. 

“Collaborating with our community and hospital partners, this initiative has brought us together to create new partnerships focused on improving access and coordination of care,” said Neil Shah, Executive Director, Queen Square Family Health Team. “Our OHT's approach builds on the family health team model, coupling family physician care with the necessary team to support patients to thrive in the home and community.”

In the time ahead, the Brampton/Etobicoke and Area partners will continue to work together to develop the new model of care for the OHT, and put an implementation plan into place.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the promise of more seamless, integrated care for the region and is excellent news for patients, families and care providers,” said Gordon Newman, Community Member and Patient and Family Advisor for the Brampton/North Etobicoke and Area OHT. “Moving to implement the integrated care hub is a significant step toward connecting patients with the services they need – financial, employment, education, housing or otherwise – to ensure their health and wellness needs are met.”