Canada’s Ontario Government is investing more than C$9.8m ($7.2m) to enhance primary care access for 34,000 people in the Simcoe, Bruce, and York regions. 

This initiative is part of a broader C$110m provincial investment aimed at connecting approximately 328,000 residents to primary care teams, advancing Ontario’s goal of universal primary care access. 

According to the provincial government, which currently has approximately 90% of its population already linked to a healthcare provider, the investment aims to bridge the gap for those still without primary care in the region. 

The province is backing ten new or expanded interprofessional primary care teams across the Simcoe, Bruce and York regions to further close this gap, connecting up to 34,000 Ontarians to comprehensive healthcare services. 

Among the services being introduced is an indigenous primary care team in Barrie that includes a mobile clinic and a nurse practitioner-led clinic in Innisfil for those without a primary care provider.  

Two satellite clinics will further be established to serve vulnerable groups in Couchiching, Orillia, and the North Simcoe area. 

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The plan also involves the expansion of primary and mental health services in Huntsville, the opening of a clinic in Collingwood catering to marginalised individuals and those requiring mental health and addiction support, and the development of an indigenous primary care team for the Saugeen First Nation.  

In addition, a clinic will be set up to provide primary care and social services to the homeless in northern York, a new nurse practitioner-led clinic will be introduced in Owen Sound, and a mobile clinic will offer primary care and allied health services in the Bruce peninsula. 

The government stated that interprofessional primary care models can help alleviate pressures on emergency departments and walk-in clinics. 

Ontario deputy premier and health minister Sylvia Jones said: “Our government is making record investments to ensure that everyone that wants to have a primary care provider can connect to one. 

“While there is more work to do, giving tens of thousands of more Ontarians in the region the opportunity to connect to primary care brings us that much closer to this goal.”