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What are Family Health Teams (FHTs)?

Family Health Team’s (FHTs) are an approach to primary health care that brings together different health care providers to co-ordinate the best patient care possible for you – the patient. FHTs usually consist of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and other health care professionals who work collaboratively, each using their experience and skills so you receive the best care, when you need it, as close to home as possible.

FHTs are a key component of the Ontario government’s plan to build a health care system that delivers on three priorities – keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing better access to clinicians.

FHTs strive to:

  • Provide primary health care, chronic disease management and self-help tools to improve health
  • Provide better access to care, closer to home
  • Work as a team to keep patients healthy
  • Help patients navigate their way through the health care system.

Benefits of Joining a Family Health Team (FHT)

The following are a few of the benefits of joining a FHT:

  • Team approach to care thereby broadening the knowledge/skill base
  • Shared care amongst multiple clinicians
  • Expertise and services of specialized health care providers
  • Time to discuss managing chronic illness
  • Access to primary care providers during extended evening & weekend hours for urgent problems
  • An electronic medical record system allowing Couchiching Family Health Team clinicians to communicate effectively regarding the care they provide

Joining a Family Health Team (FHT)

To join a FHT you will be asked to sign a Patient Enrollment Form rostering you to a physician in the FHT. Rostering means you agree to have your health care provided by this physician and the FHT. By signing the Patient Enrollment Form you commit to the following:

  • To seek treatment from your physician/FHT first (unless traveling or an emergency)
  • To allow the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to provide your physician/FHT with information about services you received from physicians outside of the FHT
  • To not switch physician/FHT more than twice per year
  • To continue to be enrolled with the physician unless you are no longer eligible for OHIP, move outside of the geographic area of the FHT, enroll with another physician in another group, or choose to cancel your enrollment
  • To inform your physician if you are receiving specialized treatment from another physician outside of the FHT
  • Rostering is not mandatory. However, we believe it will provide you with the best care.


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Kimm J.