The Northern Ontario School of Medicine, HealthForceOntario and the North East and North West Local Health Integration Networks joined forces to host Summit North: Building a Flourishing Physician Workforce on January 24 says a news release.
With more than 130 health system partners in attendance, the summit focused on solutions in the short and long-term to help build a sustainable physician workforce, with a focus on family physicians in rural and remote communities.
Representatives from communities across the North, including Indigenous and Francophone, were in attendance with those from hospitals, family health teams, the North East and North West LHINs, NOSM, HFO, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and the Ontario Medical Association.
A key objective of the summit was to gather innovative ideas from a wide-range of Northern stakeholders including health professionals and administrators, policy makers, the medical school and municipalities. The summit was the result of on-going conversations between the LHINs, NOSM and HFO.
Participants had the chance to learn about innovative health workforce models in other jurisdictions, the current physician need in the North, and findings on how to improve health-care access and equity for rural communities. Most importantly, participants took part in lively breakout groups, committing to actions to support the creation a robust physician workforce in the North. Furthermore, a commitment was made to create a broad based Task Force to ensure that the actions from the Summit are realized.
Building health workforce capacity in the North and introducing innovative models of care will lead to increased access to care for patients and greater equity for rural communities.