Sudbury's fourth City of Lakes Family Health Team is opening soon in Chelmsford, and the province is providing capital and operating funding.
A Family Health Team (FHT) is an interdisciplinary group of healthcare providers including family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, dietitians and pharmacists.
Ontario 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 it's 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 Friday. “This is all part of our government’s goal to improve the quality of health care and put patients first.”
The new site will house four family physicians. Three physicians have already committed to establishing a practice at the Chelmsford clinic 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 that this clinic will provide care to upwards of 5,000 new patients.
“The City of Greater Sudbury has been a proud partner in the development of this project, along with the City of Lakes Family Health Team and the Province of Ontario,” Mayor Brian Bigger is quoted as saying in the release. “With the completion of this site, all four sites of the City of Lakes Family Health Team which were originally proposed in 2005 will finally be operational.”
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.
“This is welcome news for thousands of people in Greater Sudbury who are looking for a family physician,” David Courtemanche, executive director of the City of Lakes Family Health Team, said in the release. “Given the current economic climate, the province’s decision to support the expansion of our team to the Chelmsford area demonstrates their strong commitment to making primary care accessible to citizens throughout the city.”
- There are currently 7,400 patients looking for a family health care provider registered with Ontario Health Care Connect in Greater Sudbury;
- Statistics Canada reports that only 82 per cent of Sudburians have regular access to a family physician;
- About 30 per cent of practising physicians in the Sudbury area are at or near retirement age, according to data from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
- Since becoming operational in 2008, the Ministry has invested $14.8 million in operational funding to the support the FHT. The ministry has also invested $1.1 million in capital and leasehold costs to establish the three service sites