First Things First: Fostering Accountable, Connected, Quality Primary Healthcare

The purpose of this framing paper was to amplify the thinking behind The Change Foundation’s 2009 Meeting of the Minds exchange, First Things First: Fostering Accountable, Connected, Quality Primary Health Care, and to stimulate discussion and debate. The way in which a health system organizes, funds, incents and rewards its primary healthcare sector has a lot to do with how effective, efficient and high-performing that health system becomes. Primary healthcare in Ontario has historically experienced waves of intense attention and absolute neglect. It is not currently a major policy priority, overshadowed by wait times (surgical, diagnostic and emergency department stays), efforts to reduce the number of alternate-level-of-care patients, and institutional budget shortfalls. Yet, some of the long-term fix for these issues lies in a primary healthcare sector integrated into the rest of the healthcare system. 

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