After years of waiting, the Chelmsford City of Lakes Family Health Team almost ready to open and is asking residents to register.
“Heads up!” said an email from the FHT on Wednesday. “Chelmsford clinic accepting applications for new patients.”
Anyone who wants to register should go do it online here by clicking on the 'Request a Physician' link on the right hand side of the page.
A Family Health Team (FHT) is a group of healthcare providers, including family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, dietitians and pharmacists.
The province announced last week it is providing capital funding of $447,911 for improvements to support the new Chelmsford clinic. The government has also increased annual base funding for the FHT by $408,894, plus is providing one-time funding of $72,330 to help open the latest location.
“This means that thousands more people in that community and across the City of Greater Sudbury will have quick access to a family doctor,” Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault said in a news release. “This is all part of our government’s goal to improve the quality of health care and put patients first.”
The Chelmsford site will house four family physicians. Three physicians have already committed to establishing a practice, with a fourth physician expected to join the clinic in the near future.
Chelmsford and the surrounding areas of Onaping, Levack, Dowling and Azilda have been identified as underserviced areas and it is estimated this clinic will provide care to upwards of 5,000 new patients.
The Family Health Team currently has three sites operating in Sudbury, Val Caron and Walden and is home to 14 family physicians, as well as 11 allied healthcare professionals, which provide care to more than 18,000 patients.
There are currently 7,400 patients looking for a family health care provider registered with Ontario Health Care Connect in the City of Greater Sudbury
Statistics Canada reports that only 82 per cent of Sudburians report having regular access to a family physician (Health Indicator Profile, Statistics Canada, 2013-14)
Approximately 30 per cent of practicing physicians in the Sudbury area are at or near retirement age per data from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
Since becoming operational in 2008, the ministry has invested $14.8 million dollars in operational funding to the support the FHT, and invested $1.1 million in capital and leasehold costs to establish the three service sites