Waterloo Wellington Residents Benefiting from Action Plan for Health Care
January 27, 2014 Kitchener –As Ontario marks the second anniversary of the Action Plan for Health Care, the WWLHIN is celebrating local progress that keeps residents healthy, provides faster access to high quality family health care, and gives residents the right care, at the right time, in the right place.
“The Waterloo Wellington LHIN is committed to making Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care a reality for our residents,” Joan Fisk, Chair, WWLHIN, Board of Directors. “We are seeing the evidence of what can be accomplished when we work together as a system and put the needs of our residents first.”
Through investments and integration across hospital, community, and primary care, residents now have greater access to family health care, higher quality services, and better coordination of care. Local improvements include:
An additional 14,000 local residents have now been matched with a family health care provider through Health Care Connect since 2009. This program, managed by the Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre, connects residents looking for a family doctor or Nurse Practitioner with someone accepting new patients. Residents are also benefiting from expanded services at new Nurse-Practitioner led clinics in Cambridge and Kitchener, at Community Health Centre care in North Dumfries, Downtown Kitchener and Guelph, and advancements in the use of telemedicine.
Health Links are being established across the LHIN to provide better coordination of services for residents with complex issues, across all types of care, including family health care, hospitals, community support services, and addiction and mental health supports.
Since 2008, the number of people waiting in hospital for care in a more appropriate setting has been cut almost in half. Not only are more residents receiving high-quality care where they need it, but wait times for other patients needing a hospital bed have also been reduced.
“We have worked extensively with Health Service Providers to improve health care for local residents,” said Bruce Lauckner, Chief Executive Officer, WWLHIN. “Enhancing access to primary care is a high priority for our residents. We regularly identify and work on improvements to our system, but it is also important to take this opportunity to celebrate the progress we have made to date.”
Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care was launched in 2012 to build a quality health care system for Ontarians that is more responsive to patient needs and delivers better value for taxpayers. Its three priorities include: Keeping Ontario healthy, faster access to stronger family health care, and providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place.
The Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN) is responsible for planning, integrating and funding health services to improve the health and wellbeing of more than 775,000 residents in Waterloo Region, Wellington County, the City of Guelph, and the southern part of Grey County. Waterloo Wellington is also home to ten Family Health Teams, one Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic, four Community Health Centres, three Public Health Units and more than 1,100 doctors, including family doctors and specialists.
LHINs are the only organizations in Ontario that bring together health care partners from the following sectors - hospitals, community care, community support services, community mental health and addictions, community health centres and long-term care - to develop innovative, collaborative solutions leading to more timely access to high quality services for the residents of Waterloo Wellington and Ontario.
The Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN) staff are experts on understanding the health needs of our community members and how they are impacted by the social determinants of health. In the WWLHIN office, our team of physicians, nurses and other professionals work hard to provide a resident-focused approach to health care investment, design and improvement.
Information about progress in the WWLHIN can be found on the WWLHIN website at www.wwlhin.on.ca.
More information about the Ontario Action Plan for Health Care can be found here: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ms/ecfa/healthy_change/.