Ontario Supporting Expansion of Primary Care to Individuals Experiencing Homelessness in the Region of WaterlooPublished on February 04, 2022
New Funding in Collaborative Partnership with the Waterloo Region Inner City Physician Group
NEWS February 4, 2022
WATERLOO REGION – The Ontario government is supporting high-quality health care for individuals experiencing homelessness in the Region of Waterloo through an Alternative Funding Plan (AFP) partnership with the Waterloo Region Inner City Physician Group.
"Waterloo Region has always shown a willingness to innovate across all sectors, and that goes for ensuring the needs of our most vulnerable residents are met with dignity and wrap-around support," said Mike Harris, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga. "This program will not only help ensure at-risk individuals will have the primary care they require but also represents a big step in addressing hallway healthcare at our local hospitals."
This additional support from the province will increase the annual base funding to $983,584 for at least six service sites in the region to provide primary care services to 2,704 patients beginning in 2021/22. The commitment from the province also includes an additional $9,000 in 2021/22 to support the start of this program.
A collaborative effort to increase local access to primary care, the Waterloo Region Inner City Physician Group works in partnership with local physicians and nurses, community health clinics, and family health teams to treat marginalized communities and individuals experiencing homelessness with dignity, kindness, and respect.
"Our government is proud to support the Region of Waterloo with this targeted investment to ensure its most vulnerable residents have access to better, connected, primary health care services," said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott. "This funding will help to provide comprehensive primary health care to individuals and communities, especially those at highest risk for illness."
"We are beyond grateful for the approval of this Alternate funding plan. Our community has a long history of providing primary health care & support to our homeless & precariously housed population through imaginative grassroots services delivered through a strong collaboration of local agencies," said Dr. Chris Steingart, Executive Director, Sanguen Health Centre and Lead Physician, Waterloo Region Inner City Physician Group. "Our thanks go to the Provincial Government for providing this additional support, & to all those who had a hand in developing this proposal & moving it forward to approval."
The support is part of the province's broader strategy to prevent homelessness and support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
- The Ontario government launched a new strategy to combat homelessness in March, directing municipal service managers to begin collecting detailed, up-to-date information from individuals experiencing homelessness and use a strategy called by-name lists. By-name lists collect detailed information and help match people with required supports.
- As part of its Community Housing Renewal Strategy and response to COVID-19, Ontario is investing approximately $1.75 billion in 2020-21 to help sustain, repair, and grow community housing and help end homelessness.