This week’s guest blogger is Dr. Frank Martino, Chief of Staff
The Central West region is in the midst of an unprecedented growth spurt. Our partners at the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) have crunched the numbers in their fourth Integrated Health Service Plan. Here are some of the changes we’ve seen over the past few years, and what we can expect in the near future:
- More than 922,000 people call this area home – that’s seven per cent of Ontario’s population – and this number is expected to grow to almost 1.1 million people by the year 2025.
- Not only is our population growing, it’s also aging. By 2025 the population of seniors (those aged 65 or more) is expected to increase by an incredible 62 per cent, from 111,000 to 180,000 people.
- Brampton Civic Hospital had 27 per cent more visits per year than the next busiest site, making it home to the busiest Emergency Department (ED) in Canada.
- Our region is one of the most geographically and ethnically diverse in the province with 47 per cent being immigrants. Nearly half of these residents speak English as their second language.
These numbers tell us that we need to act now to make sure our local health care system will meet the current and future needs of our growing, aging and diverse community. Osler is taking steps to make this a reality.
We’re now just two months away from opening the new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness (Peel Memorial) and many patients will be referred to the outpatient programs and services offered at this new facility. This presents us with an exciting opportunity to redefine the delivery of care with our partners across the system.
As we make the conscious effort to focus on delivering health care where and when patients need it most, primary care providers will play an increasingly important role in the delivery of care in our community. While services at Peel Memorial will open to the public in February, we’ve already started caring for, and treating, a small number of patients in Addictions Counselling, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Counselling and the Eating Disorders Clinic.
What can referring physicians and specialists expect at Peel Memorial? Better local access to some of the high-demand health services that this community needs such as complex care management, hemodialysis, seniors’ rehab and wellness supports. There will also be a strong emphasis on chronic disease management, mental health services, diagnostic services, and urgent care.
We’ll be sending referral packages to primary care physicians across the LHIN this month so they know what to expect at our brand new facility. We’re looking forward to providing care management of complex medical conditions to everyone in our community who needs it.