Skip to main content
Episode 31: Interprofessionalism: The Role of Team-Based Primary Care within Canada’s Health System
May 28, 2024

Primary care is the foundation of Canada’s health care system; however, the sector is facing a multitude of pressing challenges. Currently, more than 6.5 million Canadians do not have regular access to primary care and the one third of Canadians who have a family doctor find it difficult to get an appointment. Physicians themselves are facing intense burnout coupled with a health human resources (HHR) crisis. In a May 2023 survey by the Ontario College of Family Physicians, 65% of respondents cited plans to leave office-based family practice or reduce their hours in the next five years.

Across Canada, health leaders have identified team-based models of care as a tool to help combat these challenges. Team-based primary care offers a broader range of health services to patients by health care providers committed to the delivery of comprehensive, coordinated, and high-quality care through intentionally designed collaborative practices.

No one profession can do it all. Team-based primary care will help build a stronger, more resilient health system and provide quality care for all and less burn-out for our health workforce.

Joined by three primary care leaders, this podcast explores the importance of the use of consensus driven definitions, principles, standards and indicators for team-based primary care implementation that is in aligned, yet contextually specific to the unique systems and populations within provinces and territories in this country.

Dr. Ivy Oandasan is the Co-Lead Team Primary Care: Training for Transformation, an initiative aimed at accelerating transformative change in the way primary care practitioners train to work together. She is also a professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine Temerty Faculty of Medicine and Director of Education, College of Family Physicians of Canada and an active family physician who has been involved in teaching and research since 1997. She led a national research team that conducted the environmental scan and literature review on the evidence for interprofessional education for collaborative patient centred practice that was funded and ultimately used by Health Canada in 2004.

Leslee Thompson is the Chief Executive Officer of Accreditation Canada and Health Standards Organization (HSO), two organizations united in common vision for safer care and a healthier world. With over 30 years of senior executive and corporate director experience working at provincial, national and international levels, Leslee is a leader who makes things happen. Her clinical roots as a Registered Nurse continue to influence her relentless pursuit of quality and safety in health care, and Leslee has become internationally recognized for her work on partnering with patients to improve outcomes. She has also been Board Chair of the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, Chair of Council of Academic Hospitals Ontario and is currently executive in residence at Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto.  

Dr. Tara Kiran is a family physician and scientist at the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto and the Fidani Chair of Improvement and Innovation at the University of Toronto. She is also principal investigator at OurCare, a national public engagement initiative focused on the future of primary care, the public’s expectations, and what policy changes they recommend to shape the system. Over the last decade, Dr. Kiran has led a program of research evaluating the impact of primary care reforms on quality in primary care in Ontario. She and her team have studied the impact of financial incentives on diabetes care and cancer screening, compared chronic disease prevention and management between various practice models, evaluated the impact of mandated after-hours provision on emergency department use, explored the association between the access bonus and healthcare use, and highlighted the quality gaps for patients left out of enrolment models.