Access to Primary Care

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.

The Access to Primary Care Working Group is striving to increase access to primary team-based care and break down barriers to timely equitable care for all.

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.

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?

Access to Primary Care Projects

Maternal-Child Health Strategy

The maternal child health strategy is shaped by years of experience in primary care.

Listening to our patients, particularly those that struggle with complex mental health and addictions informs this work. It is essential to understand the impact of brain development and emotions, in utero and early childhood deprivation, as well adverse childhood experiences.

This strategy aims to help parents get connected to community supports and resources so they can enter parenthood with a cocoon of care available to them and their children.

Learn more.

Building More Team-Based Care

The Health Home – using the FLA OHT's new model of primary health care, a new health home 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

Integrated Care Hub (ICH) – increasing access to health care and social services in Kingston 12 h/d, 7 d/wk:

  • for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness or struggling with mental health or substance use

Portable Outreach Care Hub (PORCH) - A mobile vehicle that provides wellness services, primary care and supports to those struggling with mental health and substance use. Meeting people who are where they are:

  • experiencing or who are at risk of homelessness
  • experiencing barriers to health care such as transportation or location.

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.

Share your thoughts or get involved!