Ontario announces new health team for Elgin

Health Minister Christine Elliott at a media conference, September 14, 2021. (via YouTube)

Elgin County has been announced as one of the Ontario regions getting a new, coordinated health team.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott announced Friday afternoon that one of the eight new Ontario Health Teams will cover Elgin. Almost $9-million will be used to support the eight new health teams for this fiscal year and 2022-2023. Elgin’s share will be up to $1.1-million.

“The establishment of the Elgin Ontario Health Team will improve the patient experience and better coordinate care in the context of rural communities where access and connectivity is often a barrier,” said Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek. “I look forward to working with and supporting the team in the coming years.”

Elliott said the health team is a new way of coordinating healthcare, with each health team consisting of different entities within the region, providing one care plan and one health record for each patient.

“Throughout the pandemic, Ontario Health Teams have been an essential part of the province‚Äôs COVID-19 response, working quickly across all partners to support each other and protect the health and safety of Ontarians,” said Elliott. “These new eight teams will build on the progress made to date by improving outcomes for even more patients and making it easier for Ontarians to navigate their health care journey during COVID-19 and in the future.”

With the addition of the health teams announced Friday, Ontario currently has 50, covering 92 per cent of the province’s population.

The Ministry of Health said these health teams have been a weapon in the battle against COVID-19. Healthcare partners have worked on local vaccine rollouts, distribution of PPEs, staffing COVID-19 assessment centres, and supporting long-term care facilities.

Partners in each health team include primary care physicians, hospitals, long-term care, community and home-based care, addiction and mental health support, and others.

The other health teams revealed Friday include Grey-Bruce, Hastings-Prince Edward, Upper Canada-Cornwall and Area, Four Rivers, Network 24, Barrie and Area, and North Simcoe.