Access to Primary Care

Increasing access to primary team-based care 
Breaking down barriers to timely equitable care for all

Welcome to the Access to Primary Care Working Group page. We will tell you about why our group was formed, who's involved and what we are working towards.

At least 20,000 people in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (FLA) regions have no primary care provider. The entire health-care system feels the pressure when people do not have a family doctor or nurse practitioner. We are working together to improve this situation.

Current challenges

  • Shortages of primary care providers and longer wait times for care have become normal in the FLA region.
  • Pressure on emergency and urgent care departments has increased due to this lack of primary care access.
  • Specialists are doing some work which should be managed in primary care, creating longer wait times for their services.
  • Barriers to equal access include: location, economic stability, education access and quality,  health-care access and quality, neighbourhood, social and community situation.
  • Health conditions will worsen without proper care, including increases in undetected cancer, chronic diseases complications and preventable illnesses.

Who's involved?

Community members, primary and community care providers, municipalities, hospitals and specialists from across the region are working together.

Community members include people with lived experience of mental health and addictions, family, caregivers, Indigenous and Francophone representatives, 2SLGBTQ+ and others.

View which organizations and FLA OHT partners are in the Working Group.

What we are working towards

  • Building new models of care for people who don't have a primary care provider - family doctor or nurse practitioner - with the supports of other health and wellness providers.
  • Ensuring everyone, including children, youth, seniors, people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and newcomers have timely access to the care they need.

Looking for a family doctor or nurse practitioner?

Register with Ontario's Health Care Connect. The program connects you with a primary care provider who is accepting new patients.

Call 1-800-445-1822 or Register online.

Projects to improve access to primary care

The Health Home – using the FLA OHT's new model of primary health care, Periwinkle will create a team based model of care for people who don’t have a primary care provider. The initial site aims to attach ten thousand patients to a health home.

Team-based care – working with existing primary care practices to ensure all providers have the supports and the connections they need to provide the right kind of care at the right time.

Newcomer health – connecting newcomers and refugees to primary care and other health and social service supports. 

Equity and wellness care

Portable Outreach Care Hub (PORCH) – a mobile health and social services vehicle that provides mental and physical support including primary care to people who are where they are:

  • experiencing or who are at risk of homelessness
  • seeking wellness services or struggling with mental health and substance use, or
  • experiencing barriers to health care such as transportation or location.

Integrated Care Hub (ICH) – increases access to health and social services 12 hours a day,
7 days a week at a physical space in Kingston:

  • increase access to care for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness or struggling with mental health or substance use
  • strengthen communication and collaboration between health and social service agencies to improve access and quality of care

What is a Health Home?

A person's Health Home is their home base for easy access to all the health care and wellness services they need to live their healthiest life.

Help improve the local health-care system

Share your ideas or get involved!