"Today is a significant day for the future of health care right here in Huron and Perth, and it is a significant day for the future of health care in this province as well", Thompson said.
One of the province's new 24 new health teams will soon be operating in the region.
Thompson and Pettapiece say the Huron Perth and Area Ontario Health Team's vision is a sustainable people-driven system that strives to provide a positive experience for all.
As for what this type of collaboration means for patients, Matthew Maynard, one of three patient partners brought in at the very beginning of the Huron Perth Ontario Health Team process, says he's hopeful this new health-care model will put less burden on patients and their families, who have been largely responsible for the co-ordination of their own care across a wide range of public and private service providers.
Ontario has announced a new initiative aimed at bringing local health-care providers together to make it easier for patients to move from one health-related service to another.
"With our new Huron Perth and Area Ontario Health Team, patients will benefit from better integrated health care, with a seamless experience when moving between different health care services, providers and settings", said Elliott.
"We finally break down the long-standing barriers that have prevented care providers from working directly with each other to support patients throughout their health care journey", Elliot said.
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"We know that when people get sick and need health care, the current system is comprised of many silos, making it hard for people to access care and navigate the transitions along the continuum of care", the Ottawa Health Team wrote in its submission to the province.
Those in attendance at the announcement included doctors and nurse practitioners, hospital representatives, patient advocates, social and community services representatives, elected officials from Muskoka and East Parry Sound, Muskoka Paramedic Services, family health team representatives, media and more. A focused group of patients will receive these services through their integrated primary care teams and the broader Ontario Health Team partners.
The health team is being led by the city's community health centres. The Coalition is also working to protect home care and health care services from privatization.
The Cambridge North Dumfries Ontario Health Team will begin implementing some of their proposed programs and services in 2020.
"The shared objective and commitment that has moved us to this point of readiness is what makes Muskoka and Area great". My father-in-law was recently receiving crisis home care, in our home, as arrangements for a placement in long-term care were being determined.
Her colleague agreed: "Our local health care providers are leaders in the province and are continuously examining ways to improve patient care".
The teams represent a key pillar of the Ford government's health restructuring agenda. Ontario Health Teams will play a critical role in connecting care providers and, in doing so, helping to end hallway health care.