AFHTO submitted its recommendations to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs as part of the 2019 Ontario Pre-Budget Consultations in January. Our key recommendations are:
- We need a health system that is truly integrated, one where patients don’t have to move from one part of the system to another part to get their care, especially care for mental health and addictions - primary care and mental health care providers need to work together to ensure that mental health and addictions investments are integrated in primary care.
- The relationship between primary care and home and community care can be strengthened by transitioning the function and associated resources of care coordination to primary care. This will bring greater efficiency and patient-centredness to care. Care will be integrated, allowing for seamless transitions of care for patients.
- Support expansion of interprofessional team-based care across Ontario. This can start with communities that don’t have a team at all and then expand to all Ontarians who wish for it. Allow for local-level innovation but ensure that primary care providers are involved in the co-design on what would work best for them in their communities and for their patients.
- Look at existing models of performance measurement in primary care and facilitate and fund a strategy that spreads it across the system. This strategy must measure outcomes that matter to patients and providers while assisting in lower system costs. To support this, there needs to be further investments in quality improvement practice facilitators to help support front line providers.