What are primary health care teams?

Ontario Primary Health Care Teams: Better Care. Healthier Families. Best Value.

Around the world, cost-effective and high-performing health systems share a common characteristic: they are based on a foundation of comprehensive primary care.

Primary health care teams are teams of interprofessional health providers that provide comprehensive primary care. Although team composition may differ, they typically include family physicians- solo or a group- who work in concert with other healthcare providers, such as nurse practitioners, dietitians, social workers and more.

AFHTO members have as many as 15 different health care providers that work in team-based care. And all these providers take care of the whole patient.

Defining Comprehensive Primary Care

The goals of comprehensive primary care are to:

  • Optimize health outcomes for patients and populations
  • Meet patient and public expectations
  • Support a sustainable health care system

The focus of the primary care team is therefore to:

  • Improve quality of care
  • Increase capacity to assure access for patients
  • Reduce the total cost of care to support a sustainable health care system

Learn about AFHTO’s approach to measuring comprehensive primary care through the Starfield Model.