Community Update Regarding Primary Care

GHC's Letter To The Community

Dear Residents, 

Our community, like many others, has experienced challenges with the healthcare system, particularly in primary care.  With its unique healthcare model, Group Health Centre (GHC) has sheltered our region from the nationwide primary care provider shortages that other communities have experienced. GHC has been instrumental in maintaining care for approximately 60,000 patients.  

GHC and Algoma District Medical Group (ADMG), the team of physicians who practice at the GHC, have been addressing a severe shortage of physicians and nurse practitioners in family medicine for some time. This trend is not unique to our community. The rate of new providers entering the field has not kept pace with retirements, and many existing primary care providers face burnout. Despite many proactive efforts, including extensive recruitment initiatives (locally and internationally), securing temporary providers, delaying retirements and re-engaging retired professionals, this situation is no longer sustainable. This has led us to the critical point we find ourselves at today. 

ADMG will be informing patients of those Primary Care Providers who have recently retired or left their practices that they will no longer have primary care services. Approximately 10,000 patients will lose access to their primary care provider and the same-day clinic services at GHC as of May 31, 2024.  To ensure that every impacted individual is informed as quickly as possible, each patient will receive a detailed letter with more information. 

We recognize the profound effect this will have on our patients, their loved ones, and the broader community.  

GHC and ADMG are fully committed to navigating this crisis.  Our immediate focus is to stabilize our operations and continue to provide care to 50,000 patients in our community. We look forward to working with our community partners and the Ministry of Health to build additional capacity for the future.  

As we work towards resolving these challenges, we encourage you, as community members, to actively participate in this conversation. Your voices are powerful. We recognize the scale of the challenge before us. We are confident that, working together with our elected government representatives, we can find solutions for our community.  


Lil Silvano, 
President & CEO
Group Health Centre 

Dr. Jodie Stewart, MD, CCFP
CEO & Chair,
Algoma District Medical Group 

Community Primary Care Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Accessing Primary Care At GHC

As of January 2024, there are approximately 60,000 patients rostered to Primary Care Providers practicing at GHC – after May 31, 2024, that number will be approximately 50,000 patients.  

The shortage of primary care providers here and across the province is the result of a complex mix of factors, including an increasing number of retirements, limitations in available resources, and significant shifts in the healthcare workforce demographics. Without serious investments in the delivery of primary care from the provincial level and an influx of new Primary Care Providers – it is likely more patients across the province will continue to lose access to Primary care services. 

We are engaged with our Partners, including the government and Algoma District Medical Group, to address this issue together, and we are confident that we will find collaborative solutions.  

The situation GHC is currently facing is the culmination of several complex factors. It is important to recognize that this situation was inevitable as the number of providers available does not match the number of providers retiring and no longer practicing primary care.   

The Group Health Centre’s unique model has enabled the care of thousands of patients whose providers left GHC years ago. This was the result of many mitigating measures to address the provider shortage that the healthcare sector is experiencing. 

These include: 

  • Recruiting New Healthcare Professionals: We have put considerable effort into attracting new professionals to our facilities.  We are active members of the Sault Ste. Marie Physician Recruitment Committee, along with Sault Area Hospital and The City of Sault Ste. Marie. 
  • Securing Temporary Locum Providers: Recognizing the immediate need for medical professionals, we have employed locum providers. These temporary physicians have been crucial in filling gaps and ensuring continuity of care. 
  • Physicians and Nurse Practitioners delaying their retirement: 35% of our current providers are over the age of 60.   
  • Encouraging Retired Physicians and Nurse Practitioners to Return Part-Time: We reached out to experienced, retired physicians and Nurse Practitioners, inviting them to rejoin the workforce on a part-time basis to leverage their invaluable expertise. 
  • Advocating for Investment and Changes in our current model: Understanding the need for systemic change, we have been active in advocating for further investment that will increase the capacity of our providers enabling them to see more patients and spend more time with patients vs. administrative activities. Our goal is to create a supportive environment for attracting and retaining healthcare talent. 

Furthermore, GHC has been in constant engagement with our partners to collaboratively address these challenges. These partnerships are essential in our quest to find sustainable, long-term solutions to the healthcare provider shortage. 

Despite these considerable efforts, the reality is that the healthcare sector is undergoing a period of significant transition and challenge, not just locally but globally. GHC remains committed to navigating these changes while ensuring the highest standards of patient care. 

This outcome was inevitable. GHC has been proactively addressing the provider shortage through various measures, including recruiting new healthcare professionals, securing temporary (locum) providers, encouraging retired physicians to return part-time and many providers delaying their retirement (35% of our providers are 60 years old or older). 

Unfortunately, we have reached the point where those solutions are no longer effective or sustainable. Simply put, without recruiting new primary care providers, we no longer have sufficient resources to adequately care for the patients of providers who retire or leave their practice.

While compensation is an important factor in attracting healthcare professionals, the current shortage of Primary Care Providers (PCPs) is due to more complex and deep-rooted issues that extend beyond financial incentives. 

The core of the crisis we are facing is demographic in nature. The healthcare sector is experiencing a significant imbalance: the number of PCPs entering the workforce is not sufficient to replace those who are retiring or planning to retire soon. This has resulted in a gap that cannot be bridged by increasing pay alone. 

Moreover, this challenge is not unique to our region or GHC; it is a widespread issue occurring across the province and in many parts of the country. The shortage of local primary care physicians and healthcare professionals is a reflection of broader systemic issues. 

We have been aware of the looming challenge in primary care for some time. Recognizing the early signs of this emerging crisis, GHC, along with the Algoma District Medical Group, proactively initiated efforts to mitigate the potential impact on our community. In fact, GHC’s unique model allowed us the time to employ mitigating factors and insulate our community from what others have been grappling with. But without systemic change, those measures would only prove successful in the short term. 

We understood that the challenges in accessing primary care were not just localized issues, but part of a growing provincial, and indeed national, crisis. With this understanding, we have been working with our partners and government entities to develop and implement strategies to address these challenges. 

While we have been tackling this issue for some time, the complexity and scale of the problem mean that it requires sustained, collaborative efforts to bring about meaningful change. We are confident that through continued partnership and joint action, we can create significant improvements in the healthcare landscape, not just for our community but across Ontario. 

Our commitment to our community is unwavering, and we remain dedicated to finding innovative solutions and advocating for the necessary changes to ensure accessible and quality primary care for all. 

To ensure you are well-informed, GHC has a policy in place to notify patients in advance if their physician is planning to leave. We take proactive steps to communicate this information as soon as it is confirmed, allowing you ample time to prepare for the transition. 

In the past, GHC has faced situations where patients were informed about their primary care physician retiring or leaving the practice. These changes are not unusual in healthcare settings and are a part of the normal ebb and flow of medical professionals within any healthcare system. However, the current scenario is different both in scope and impact. 

Over the last six years, GHC has seen approximately 2,800 patients lose access to care due to challenges in recruiting and retaining primary care providers, including family doctors and nurse practitioners. The current situation, affecting 10,000 patients, is a significant escalation from what we have encountered before. 

This underscores the severity of the healthcare provider shortage we are facing now – it is a situation that has grown progressively over time and one that requires urgent and comprehensive solutions. GHC is fully committed to addressing these challenges and is actively working on multiple fronts to mitigate the impact on our patients and the community. 

At GHC, we understand the importance of keeping our community informed, especially during times of change and uncertainty. We are committed to maintaining timely and transparent communication with our patients and the community at large. Here’s how we plan to keep you updated: 

  • Timely Notifications: When there are changes to primary care that will impact our community, we will notify you as soon as possible. This includes any updates on provider availability, service changes, or new healthcare initiatives. 
  • Regular Updates via Multiple Channels: We will provide regular updates through various channels, including our GHC website, social media platforms, and local media. These updates will cover all relevant developments and information. 
  • Direct Communication to Patients: For more direct or personal impacts, such as changes to a patient’s primary care provider, we will communicate through letters, emails, or phone calls, depending on the urgency and nature of the information. 
  • Collaboration with Local Media: We will collaborate with local media outlets to ensure broader dissemination of important information and updates, reaching as many community members as possible. 
  • Engaging with Community Partners: GHC will work with community partners, local organizations, and healthcare entities to ensure cohesive and coordinated communication efforts. This helps in reaching different segments of the community effectively. 

 Our goal is to ensure that every community member has access to the latest and most accurate information regarding their healthcare services. GHC’s commitment to our community extends beyond healthcare provision; it includes ensuring you are well informed and supported through every change and development. 

We understand that there may be rumours or concerns regarding the status of our physicians at GHC. It’s important to clarify that no doctor has been terminated from our team. GHC values the dedication and commitment of our medical staff, including both our permanent and locum physicians. We continue to engage all available physicians to provide comprehensive patient care. Our focus remains on ensuring that our community has access to quality healthcare services, and our physicians are a crucial part of our efforts to deliver on this commitment.

I've Lost Access To My Primary Care Provider, Now What?

We recognize the vital role a dedicated Primary Care Provider (PCP) plays in your health and well-being and understand the concerns that come with being derostered. To assist you in finding a new PCP, we recommend utilizing the Health Care Connect Ontario service. This program is specifically designed to help Ontario residents without a PCP to find one in their area.

Registering with Health Care Connect Ontario puts you on a waiting list for all healthcare providers in the community, including Family Health Teams, Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics, and the Group Health Centre. This centralized approach means that as soon as space becomes available—whether at GHC or any other local healthcare facility—you have the opportunity to be matched with a new PCP.

Please be aware that GHC does not maintain a separate waiting list for patients who have been derostered.

Primary Care Providers at GHC deliver care to a specific set of patients, often referred to as a “roster.” Rosters are assigned to a provider who is responsible for the care these patients receive. All of the 10,000 patients who have been impacted belong to a roster assigned to a Primary Care Provider who will no longer be practicing at GHC.  There were no other criteria used in determining which patients were affected.

Diagnostic Imaging, Physiotherapy, and Specialty Care services at GHC will continue to be available to the public, even after your physician retires or leaves their practice. If you have a specialist appointment scheduled, it will still be valid, and you don’t need to get a new referral. A full list of services available to members of the public can be found on our website under Programs & Services.

For clarity, you can continue to access primary care and specialty care services as usual until May 31, 2024, through your current GHC provider or the Same-Day Clinic. However, after May 31, 2024, if you need access to or an appointment with a new specialty service that requires a physician’s referral, you will need to visit a walk-in clinic for a referral. 

To access the complete list of walk-in clinics available in Sault Ste. Marie, please click here.

Unfortunately, the Same-Day Clinic is not equipped to care for the 10,000 patients who will no longer have access to primary care services at GHC.  The Clinic is staffed by Primary Care Providers of the GHC. With the reduction of providers, there is less capacity for the clinic to see patients.  If the 10,000 patients relied solely on the Same-Day Clinic for primary care, it would put a significant strain on the clinic’s resources. GHC would need to hire additional full-time providers to care exclusively for derostered patients, as well as manage the urgent care needs of GHC’s remaining patient base of 50,000.

This underscores the underlying issue that led to the deroster outcome. Without additional providers, GHC cannot provide care for the 10,000 patients in the Same-Day Clinic. This outcome is a direct result of these significant constraints and our commitment to providing quality care.

GHC offers a broad spectrum of healthcare services and programs open to the public. This includes but is not limited to, specialized care across various disciplines, comprehensive diagnostic services, and a range of health programs aimed at enhancing your overall well-being.

To explore the full list of available services and programs, please visit the ‘Programs & Services’ section of our website. There, you’ll find comprehensive details about each service, including descriptions, access procedures, and any specific requirements needed to utilize these services.

It is important to note that access to some specialized services may necessitate a referral from a physician. If you do not have a Primary Care Provider to provide a referral, a walk-in clinic can serve as a temporary solution for obtaining the necessary referral to access certain GHC services.

For those in need of a referral, a complete list of walk-in clinics in Sault Ste. Marie can be accessed here.

We understand how distressing and uncertain it can feel to face changes in your healthcare situation. The shortage of primary care providers here and across the province, which has affected you personally, is the result of a complex mix of factors, including an increasing number of retirements, limitations in resources, and significant shifts in the healthcare workforce demographics  

You will be able to continue accessing GHC services through your current provider and the Same Day Clinic until May 31, 2024. 

Unfortunately, the remaining Physician and Nurse Practitioner patient rosters are currently full. Derostered patients can continue to receive primary care services from their current GHC provider or the Same Day Clinic until May 31, 2024.  

After this date, patients will need to explore alternative options such as walk-in clinics, telehealth services, or different healthcare providers.  

The lack of access to primary care in Ontario is a growing problem, and we are engaged with our partners, the government and the Algoma District Medical Group on collaborative solutions.  

Until May 31, 2024, you can continue to access primary care services as you always have – either through your current GHC provider or by visiting our Same Day Clinic.  

After May 31, 2024, we understand that you may have concerns about how to access the healthcare services you need. To assist you in this transition, we recommend the following options available to you: 

  • Walk-In Clinics: These can provide immediate care for non-emergency health issues and for receiving timely medical attention when you cannot see a regular provider. 
  • Telehealth Services: Many healthcare needs can be addressed through telehealth, which allows you to consult with healthcare professionals remotely. This is especially convenient for consultations that don’t require a physical examination. 
  • Different Healthcare Providers: After May 31, 2024, we recommend registering with Health Care Connect Ontario to be matched with a new primary care provider in your area. This service is designed to help patients find a new provider when becomes available as seamlessly as possible. To access this service, you can sign up online by visiting the Health Care Connect Ontario website. Alternatively, if you prefer speaking to someone directly, you can also reach out by phone at 1-800-445-1822.

We recommend utilizing the services of Health Care Connect Ontario, a service designed to assist patients in finding a new provider in your area. To access this service, you can sign up online by visiting the Health Care Connect Ontario website. Alternatively, if you prefer speaking to someone directly, you can also reach out by phone at 1-800-445-1822. 

By registering with Health Care Connect Ontario, you will be placed on a waiting list, and they will actively work to match you with the next available provider within your community. This process ensures that you are systematically and fairly connected to a provider who can meet your healthcare needs. 

We understand your concern, especially if you have been under the care of multiple physicians at GHC. Currently, the patient rosters for our remaining Physicians and Nurse Practitioners at GHC are full. This means that these healthcare providers do not have the capacity to take on additional patients at this time. 

The physicians who have been providing your care are Locum (temporary) physicians. There has been a significant change to the availability of these Locum physicians. This shift poses a challenge to our ability to ensure continuous care for all patients currently under their care. 

Given these circumstances, this announcement does impact you. Since the rosters are full and the availability of Locum physicians is changing, we will have difficulty ensuring uninterrupted care for those patients. As a result, we recommend exploring alternative options for continuing your healthcare. This includes walk-in clinics and telemedicine.  We recommend registering with Health Care Connect Ontario (after May 31, 2024), which can assist in connecting you with a new primary care provider when one becomes available. 

GHC is committed to ensuring the smooth and secure transfer of patient medical records to new healthcare providers when requested. Patients or their new healthcare providers can request copies of medical records at any time by contacting GHC’s Medical Records Department. This can be done by calling (705) 759-5542.  

If you have a MyChart account at present, it will be active until May 31, 2024. After this date, your account will become “read-only,” and you will not be able to schedule appointments or communicate with your previous Primary Care Provider. 

There is no requirement to print your medical record before May 31, 2024. You can access your GHC medical records for 10 years after your last entry.

If you are requesting a complete copy of your medical records, there is a fee.

The fee to obtain copies of your medical records is $30 for the first 20 pages and $0.25 for each additional page. This fee can be paid at the front desk when you come to pick up your records.

We recognize the importance of continuing your routine immunizations and understand the concerns about accessing these services after May 31, 2024. For patients who will no longer be rostered with GHC, there are several alternative options available within the community for obtaining immunizations:

  • Algoma Public Health: Local public health units provide a range of immunization services. They offer vaccines for both children and adults, including routine immunizations and those required for travel.
  • Pharmacies: Many pharmacies now offer immunization services.
  • Community Walk-in Clinics: Some walk-in clinics in the community also provide immunization services.

We encourage you to explore these options to continue your immunizations seamlessly. For more detailed information on the specific services each of these options offers, including locations and how to access services, please visit their respective websites or contact them directly.

We understand the importance of continued access to specialized health services, such as those provided by the Women’s Health Program at GHC. However, after May 31, 2024, patients who have been derostered will need to consider alternative options for these services.

  • Algoma Public Health: Local public health units offer cervical screening clinics as part of their commitment to preventive health.
  • Algoma Ontario Health Team Initiatives: Through the efforts of the Algoma Ontario Health Team, various Cervical Cancer Screening Clinics are organized for unattached patients at different locations across the community. These clinics are designed to ensure that all women have access to necessary screenings, regardless of their attachment to a Primary Care Provider. Dates and times for these clinics are communicated to the public through various channels.

For more information on accessing these services, including locations and scheduling, please visit the Algoma Public Health website or look out for announcements from the Algoma Ontario Health Team.

The Ontario Healthcare Crisis And GHC

The primary care sector in Ontario, especially in regions like Sault Ste. Marie, is facing significant challenges. GHC is currently dealing with an acute shortage of physicians and nurse practitioners specializing in family medicine. Several factors contribute to this situation: 

  • Demographic Crisis: The number of new healthcare professionals entering the field is not sufficient to replace those retiring. This gap is creating a shortage that is increasingly difficult to manage. 
  • Healthcare Personnel Burnout: Our healthcare workers have been under immense pressure, leading to burnout, which affects both their well-being and the availability of services. 

Recognizing these challenges early on, GHC has been actively working with partners and the government to find solutions. Our efforts include recruiting new professionals, employing temporary (locum) physicians, encouraging retired physicians to rejoin part-time, physicians extending their retirement date, exploring innovative healthcare delivery models, and advocating for changes to improve the attraction and retention of healthcare professionals. 

The challenges GHC is currently facing in terms of accessing primary care are reflective of a broader, province-wide crisis. This is not an isolated issue unique to our district; rather, it is a concern that communities across Ontario are grappling with. 

The scarcity of primary care providers and the increasing demand for healthcare services have become common themes across many healthcare centres in the province. Like GHC, these centres are experiencing similar pressures due to factors such as an aging population, healthcare provider burnout, and the demographic shift in the workforce with more retirements than new entrants. 

In response to this shared challenge, GHC is actively engaged with its partners and the government. These collaborations are focused on developing and implementing strategies that can alleviate the current strain on healthcare resources. Our aim is to work together to find innovative and sustainable solutions that can benefit not just our community but the entire province. 

Additionally, our community members can be a part of this conversation by engaging with their elected officials to share their concerns and ask questions about the measures being taken to address this growing crisis. Active community engagement can help bring more attention to the issue and support the advocacy for necessary changes at the policy level. 

The demographic crisis in healthcare is a widespread issue affecting communities across the country, and it is characterized by a significant imbalance in the healthcare workforce. This imbalance stems from a critical shortfall in the number of new medical professionals – including physicians and nurse practitioners – entering the profession, which is not sufficient to replace the outgoing healthcare providers who are nearing the end of their careers. 

This situation is the result of various factors: 

  • Aging Healthcare Workforce: A substantial portion of our current healthcare providers are approaching retirement age. This is leading to an increasing number of retirements each year, creating gaps in the availability of experienced healthcare providers. 
  • Declining Interest in Family Medicine: There has been a noticeable decline in medical graduates choosing family medicine as their specialty. This trend contributes to the shortage of primary care providers, who play a crucial role in community health. 
  • Challenges in Healthcare Education and Training: The capacity to educate and train new healthcare providers is also a contributing factor. The number of graduates from medical and nursing schools is not keeping up with the healthcare needs of our growing and aging population. 
  • Long-Term Implications: This demographic crisis has profound implications for the healthcare system. It affects not only the availability of healthcare providers but also the quality and accessibility of healthcare services for the public. 

To address this challenge, a multi-faceted approach is needed. This includes encouraging more students to pursue careers in family medicine, expanding medical education and training capacities, and implementing policies that support the healthcare workforce’s growth and sustainability. 

By understanding and addressing these issues, we can work towards a more robust and resilient healthcare system that can meet the needs of communities across the country, both now and in the future. 

The support and engagement of our community are invaluable as we navigate through the current healthcare crisis. There are several ways in which community members can actively support GHC and contribute to finding solutions: 

  • Understanding the Broader Crisis: Recognize that the lack of access to primary care is a widespread issue across the province. Understanding the scope of this crisis helps in acknowledging the challenges GHC and similar organizations are facing. 
  • Engagement with Government and Elected Officials: One of the most effective ways to support GHC is by reaching out to your elected officials. Share your feedback and concerns, and ask questions about the ongoing efforts to address the healthcare crisis. Elected representatives can be powerful advocates in bringing attention to these issues and in influencing policy decisions. 
  • Community Advocacy: Advocate within the community for support of GHC and its initiatives. Spreading awareness about the challenges faced by the healthcare system and the efforts being made to overcome them can foster a supportive environment. 
  • Collaboration and Partnership: GHC is actively engaged with various partners, including government bodies, to find collaborative solutions. Community members can support these efforts by participating in community forums, discussions, and initiatives that aim to address healthcare challenges. 
  • Supporting Healthcare Workers: Acknowledge and support the healthcare workers at GHC. Their dedication and hard work, especially during such challenging times, are integral to the functioning of our healthcare system. Simple gestures of appreciation and understanding of their workload can go a long way. 
  • Staying Informed and Patient: Stay informed about developments and updates from GHC. Understanding the situation and maintaining patience as GHC navigates through these challenges is crucial. 

By coming together as a community, we can strengthen our support for GHC and contribute significantly to the efforts being made to resolve this crisis. Your understanding, advocacy, and engagement are powerful tools in this journey towards improving our healthcare system. 

GHC Recruitment Efforts

GHC’s recruitment endeavours are an ongoing and collaborative effort, especially in the context of the broader challenges in healthcare staffing. As a key partner in the Sault Ste. Marie Physician Recruitment office, we work in tandem with the Sault Area Hospital (SAH), Algoma District Medical Group (ADMG), and the City of Sault Ste. Marie. Our joint efforts focus on both local and international recruitment to address the healthcare needs of our community. 

In the past year, our collaborative recruitment efforts have resulted in the successful addition of one physician and one nurse practitioner to the GHC team. These recruitments have been crucial in ensuring continuous care for patients of physicians who have recently retired, thus mitigating immediate gaps in healthcare provision. 

However, it’s important to acknowledge that these two new recruits have been offset by the number of providers leaving GHC. The healthcare sector, particularly in primary care, faces a dynamic and challenging environment. To maintain primary care for all currently rostered patients, it was estimated that GHC would require at least 10 new providers. We are continuously striving to reach this goal and are committed to enhancing our healthcare team to serve our community effectively. 

Understanding the significance of the situation for the 10,000 patients affected by the loss of their GHC provider, we have put into place a series of immediate actions to manage and ensure continuity of patient care: 

  • Communication and Information: Each affected patient will receive a personalized letter outlining the changes and providing detailed information on the next steps. We are committed to maintaining open and transparent communication throughout this transition. 
  • Alternative Care Options: Patients will continue to have access to primary care services through GHC’s Same Day Clinic until May 31, 2024. This interim solution is designed to ensure no immediate lapse in healthcare provision. 
  • Health Care Connect Ontario Registration: After May 31, 2024, we are encouraging patients to register with Health Care Connect Ontario, a service that helps Ontario residents without a family healthcare provider find one in their area.  
  • Ongoing Recruitment Efforts: GHC continues to recruit new healthcare professionals aggressively. While this is a challenging landscape, our efforts are focused on bringing new primary care providers to GHC to address the long-term needs of our patients and community. 
  • Continuous Updates: We will provide ongoing updates to our patients as new information becomes available and as more solutions are put in place. Keeping our community informed is a priority for GHC. 

GHC has recognized the growing challenge in primary care and has been proactively working on several long-term strategies to address the provider shortage: 

  • Grow Your Own Nurse Practitioners: 
    • We are working with the government to implement strategies that encourage and support more individuals to become nurse practitioners. This initiative, known as “Grow Your Own NPs,” aims to quickly increase the number of nurse practitioners delivering primary care in our community. 
  • Collaboration for Funding Opportunities: 
    • GHC is collaborating with the Ministry of Health to identify and secure funding opportunities. These efforts are crucial to prevent more people from losing access to care and to ensure the financial sustainability of healthcare services. 
  • Enhancing Mental Health and Chronic Disease Management: 
    • Recognizing the growing challenges among patients and in the community, GHC is advocating for and seeking funding to bolster mental health support and chronic disease management. These efforts aim to address the broader health needs of our community more effectively. 
  • Equitable Administrative Support in the North: 
    • GHC is working to incorporate programs that provide equitable administrative support to healthcare groups in Northern Ontario. This includes alleviating administrative burdens and enhancing access to provincial healthcare programs. Such support is essential in connecting patients with medical providers, especially in referral scenarios. 

These long-term strategies reflect GHC’s commitment to not only addressing the immediate provider shortage but also to strengthening the overall healthcare system. We believe that through quick action, strategic investments, and collaborative efforts, we can significantly improve the healthcare landscape for our community and beyond. Our approach is focused on both enhancing the capacity of our current healthcare workforce and ensuring that our community has sustainable access to comprehensive healthcare services in the future. 

GHC is actively engaged in advocating for government support to address the ongoing challenges in healthcare. Our efforts are focused on achieving quick action and meaningful investments in several key areas, in collaboration with the government and the Algoma District Medical Group (ADMG): 

  • Grow Your Own Nurse Practitioners Initiative: 
    • We are pushing for the implementation of strategies that support the education and training of more individuals to become nurse practitioners. This initiative, known as “Grow Your Own NPs,” is designed to expedite Registered Nurses becoming Nurse Practitioners, thereby expanding access to primary care. 
  • Collaboration for Funding with the Ministry of Health: 
    • GHC is working closely with the Ministry of Health to identify and secure funding opportunities. These funds are essential to prevent an increase in the number of people losing access to care and to maintain the quality and availability of healthcare services. 
  • Mental Health and Chronic Disease Management Funding: 
    • We are advocating for the creation of dedicated funding to enhance mental health support and chronic disease management programs. Addressing these growing challenges is critical for the well-being of our patients and the broader community. 
  • Equitable Administrative Support for Northern Healthcare Groups: 
    • GHC is championing the need to incorporate programs that provide equitable administrative support for healthcare groups in Northern Ontario. This effort includes reducing administrative burdens and improving access to provincial healthcare programs, thus facilitating better connections between patients and medical providers, especially for referrals. 

Through these efforts, GHC aims to garner government support that is essential for addressing the immediate and long-term healthcare needs of our community. We believe that collaborative action with government bodies and key stakeholders is the most effective path towards creating a more robust and sustainable healthcare system. 

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