Thursday, August 27, 2009

Health Care Options in Ontario

The Ontario Government has popped a flyer into our mail.
As well as, we have other sources of health information.

In their wisdom, they are realizing that tech-savvy seniors are connecting on-line with friends, family, as well as doing research on their health care. Seniors are learning to take responsibility for their health care. They are asking questions of physicians and self-advocating.

While we still face a shortage of Primary Care staff (nurses, family physicians, geriatricians) Family Health Teams are making improvements with an holistic approach that focuses on prevention and maintenance of health living options: exercise, good eating, and a mental and physical approach to good health. It has been said the 400,000 Canadian lack a family physician. That said, we have many clinics where we can access health care.

A dietician will help you understand how to read labels and watch your sodium intake, watch for low-cholesterol foods, and ensure that your protein intake matches your weight, activity levels and body type.

The pamphlet features a handy fridge magnetic on which you can write your Health Care Provider, after hours clinics, and the telehealth number. For anyone caring for an ailing family member, this is a handy way to provide a quick resource.

Finding a health care provider

Do you not have a family doctor? By registering with Health Care Connect, you will be assigned a Care Connector to help you find family health care in your community.

Medical Services Directory

Your health Care Options Medical Services directory is a user-friendly searchable database of walk-in and after hours clinics, urgent care centres, and family health care providers.

Speak to a Nurse
Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential telephone service you can receive health advice or information from a Registered Nurse by phone. They’ll provide you with all your health care options.

Community Care Access Centres (CCAC)

CCACs operate across the province. They are local organizations that provide access to government- funded home and community services and long-term care homes. The only way to access LTC in this province is by registering, and filling in forms with a local CCAC representative.

Another spot for newshounds to visit is the Newsroom, where up to date information is provided on health bulletins, legislation and news releases.

Finally, don't forget CHAP, a great reources for self-care strategies and techniques for m onitoring your blood pressure, Body Mass Index, amongst other resources.


Bill said...

Why is there a shortage of family physicians?

Jenn Jilks said...

I think it is simple numbers, Bill.

There is an increasing number of middle aged people now turning retirement age. Not enough people for all support services in the rural areas, let alone doctors.

Bill said...

Thanks for your response. If there is an increased demand for physician services due to an increased number of middle aged persons, why aren't more physicians flocking to family/general practice? In other words, what barriers (if any)exist which are limiting the supply to meet the demand?

Jenn Jilks said...

Canada wide there is a shortage.

Simple attrition! The population is aging and physicians are retiring.

We have many family physicians. It is the geriatric specialists that we need. This is the lowest paying specialty, however, and not very sexy. Seniors need much more complex care with chronic disease and complex medical issues. But they also demand more time than other age groups.

"There are 200 geriatricians working in Canada — that is 200 ... The so-called orphan patients are largely seniors because their doctors have moved or retired."