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Health Team Collaborate to Improve Access to Primary Care

The City of Kingston and the Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Ontario Health Team (FLA OHT) have teamed up to encourage people who don’t have a primary care provider to register with Health Care Connect. Health Care Connect is the provincial system that helps people find a family doctor or nurse practitioner.

“We are working to ensure every single person in our region has access to the care they need to achieve their best health. We recognize that right now not everyone has a primary care provider, but we need to know who you are,” says Dr. Kim Morrisson, FLA OHT Executive Lead.  “Registering with Health Care Connect will allow us to understand our region’s true needs.”

Registering with Health Care Connect is important 

It is estimated that about 30,000 residents, or 10 per cent of the FLA region, do not have a primary care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner). However, only about a third of those people have registered with the provincial system to help them find a primary care provider. Registering with Health Care Connect is an important step to understanding our region’s requirements.

With the province’s investment of $4 million, the FLA OHT is establishing a new Health Home in the City of Kingston. This Health Home will be a home base for easy access to all the health care and wellness services we need to achieve our best health. Health Care Connect is a tool that will be used to help enroll people in the new Health Home.

The FLA OHT website provides clear steps for how to join the Health Care Connect wait list, answers common questions about the process and highlights the importance of doing so.

Recruiting primary care providers to our region 

As part of its Physician Recruitment Strategy, the City of Kingston has been working on numerous programs to attract more primary care providers to the region.

By promoting Health Care Connect and having all unattached patients register for the waitlist, the City aims to provide the Ministry of Health with accurate numbers of the needs in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, and ultimately, make the case for bringing more doctors to the region.

“Since 2022, we’ve been working on various recruitment efforts to attract family physicians to the region, including incentives and relocation support,” says Craig Desjardins, Director of Strategy, Innovation and Partnerships at the City of Kingston. “Just recently, we saw hundreds of people line up for the chance to get rostered with a care provider and it’s clear that something needs to change. City Council has stepped up to call on the province to actively work with communities to increase access to primary care.”

“Having unattached residents sign up for Health Care Connect will not only help us bring more family doctors and nurse practitioners to Kingston, but it will ensure that we have an equitable and fair process for people to access primary care,” adds Desjardins.

The FLA OHT website offers a place for primary care providers and their clinics to advertise permanent family doctor positions and locums. Visit the FLA OHT website to learn more.

Health Care Connect helps unattached people find a care provider

Health Care Connect is a provincially administered government agency that helps track primary care provider capacity and helps connect people to a primary care provider.

Residents voluntarily sign up online or by phone. Once registered on Health Care Connect, residents will be added to their local waitlist for a primary care provider. A nurse – the Care Connecter – will be assigned to help find a primary care provider based on each person’s situation. 

The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.

Today, the City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

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