TORONTO — An Ontario doctor has written a summary of the province’s experience in setting up Family Health Teams for the benefit of Americans who are trying to come up with health models of their own.
Dr. Walter Rosser of Queen’s University in Kingston says Ontario’s model is the largest experiment of its kind in North America.
So far, he says there are close to 200 family health teams providing health care to 2.5 million to three million people.
Each team comprises seven to 10 doctors, as well as other professionals depending on the patient load, such as a nurse practitioner, a pharmacist and a social worker.
In the article published today in the journal Annals of Family Medicine, Rosser says this model seems to have contributed to more medical students choosing to be family doctors.
The model is intended to provide more preventive care.
It is also meant to allow patients to see doctors on the team at evening and weekend clinics instead of going to hospital emergency departments.