Time to invest in team-based care and the training for health professionals who provide it: Team Primary Care Summit

Health professionals, educators, and organizational leaders issue Call to Action to encourage governments to help Canada’s health care system

TPC Photo

Team Primary Care leaders discuss the importance of training for successful primary care reform at their 2024 Summit in Ottawa, ON

OTTAWA, Feb. 28, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Health care professionals from across Canada are urging governments to invest in interprofessional, comprehensive team-based care and provide training to those who deliver it.

That is the message from the Team Primary Care Summit, which took place February 22 to 23, 2024, in Ottawa, Ontario. The summit saw more than 300 health professionals, educators, and organization leaders from across the country gathered to discuss the urgent need for comprehensive team-based primary care.

Team Primary Care: Training for Transformation, a project launched in 2022 and funded by Employment and Social Development Canada, brought together more than 100 health professional and educational organizations with the goal of accelerating transformation change in the way primary care practitioners train to work together.

In team-based care, patients are connected to a group of health professionals and can access high-quality care when and where they need it.

The summit shared the successes of some of the projects that took place over the last 17 months and saw participants sign the summit’s Call to Action, which urged governments to make sure investments used for primary care teams include the required policy, training, and infrastructure reforms needed to train health professionals to work in team-based care.

“I am encouraged by this Call to Action and the commitment of those who have signed it,” said Dr. Ivy Oandasan, co-lead of Team Primary Care. “Together we are calling attention to the fact that funding and recruitment of more health care providers will not fix our primary care system, which is in crisis. Instead, we need leaders to understand the necessity for a new way of working. We must move from silo-based care to collaborative approaches. This new way of practising will require health professionals to learn about, from and with each other in both classroom settings and within primary care training clinics.”

Team Primary Care, an initiative of the Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine (FAFM), is co-led by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and the Canadian Health Workforce Network. The project brings together over 20 practitioner groups and teams and has developed partnerships with more than 100 health professional and educational organizations across Canada, representing the continuum of primary care.

We can no longer tinker around the edges — transformative change is needed now to address the crisis in our health care system,” said Dr. Ivy Lynn Bourgeault, co-lead of Team Primary Care. “No one profession can do it all. We need dieticians, social workers, family doctors, pharmacists, midwives, paramedics, Indigenous healers, physiotherapists, nurse practitioners, and more working together in teams, complementing one another.”

Team Primary Care is taking action to address the crisis in health care and help create a more sustainable system by transforming interprofessional care training in Canada. Team-based care allows for better patient access, as people receive medical care when they need it from the appropriate provider and are actively engaged in their care. Team-based care also increases health care capacity, enabling more Canadians, including Indigenous people, the elderly, and those living in rural settings to gain timely access.   

For more information, visit www.teamprimarycare.ca.

About The Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine
The Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine (FAFM) was established in 1994 to advance the
discipline of family medicine through research and education initiatives. It is the only Canadian
charity dedicated to supporting the family medicine profession. The FAFM offers numerous awards, research grants, scholarships, and initiatives to support the training and continuing professional development of medical students, family medicine residents, and family physicians at every stage of their career. In addition, the FAFM supports initiatives aligned with its mission through grant programs, strategic partnerships and ad hoc initiatives that address current and emerging priorities in family medicine and primary care.

About The College of Family Physicians of Canada
The CFPC is the professional organization representing more than 43,000 members across the country. The College establishes the standards for and accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada's 17 medical schools. It reviews and certifies continuing professional development programs and materials that enable family physicians to meet certification and licensing requirements. The CFPC provides high-quality services, supports family medicine teaching and research, and advocates on behalf of the specialty of family medicine, family physicians, and the patients they serve.

About The Canadian Health Workforce Network
The Canadian Health Workforce Network is a knowledge exchange network of researchers, decision-makers and other knowledge users with expertise in health workforce planning, policy and management.

For media, contact:
Alexandre Lalonde
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine
Phone: 416-356-4193
Email: alalonde@cfpc.ca

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/7d2b4b37-de41-43d6-8942-532061272745