Couchiching OHT Care Clinic Well-Positioned To Further Narrow The Care Gap For Unattached Patients Across The Region

Members of the Couching Ontario Health Team meet with Hon. Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Hon. Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 prior to a tour of the COHT Care Clinic.

While in operation only since last December, the Couchiching Ontario Health Team (OHT) Care Clinic is already making big strides toward improving access to care for patients without a Primary Care Provider.  The Clinic serves over 500 patients a month and demand is growing to provide access to this type of care outside of the Emergency Department.

Operating 7 days a week, the Care Clinic provides unattached patients with an opportunity to book an appointment and be seen fairly quickly by a healthcare provider.

“With upwards of 20,000 people without a primary care provider in our area, it’s a team model of integrated care that’s working and it’s making an immediate and positive impact on the health of our community,” said Dr. Kim McIntosh, Couchiching Ontario Health Team Primary Care Lead.

Last week the Couchiching OHT was able to showcase the early success of the Clinic through a presentation and tour to Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, alongside Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities.

“It was a proud moment for the team to be able to share our excitement and enthusiasm for the Care Clinic and demonstrate the art of the possible to the Ministers,” said Melanie Moore, Co-Director of the Couchiching OHT.

To further address the gap in care, Moore points out that the primary care team has been working hard to address the current shortage of primary care providers and has submitted a joint proposal to the Province to expand both the Care Clinic in Orillia and integrate nurse practitioners within the current Huronia Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic in Oro-Medonte.

The largest primary care organization in Couchiching, the Family Health Team located at 119 Memorial Avenue has also requested an expansion of staff to better meet the needs of the community, including those patients who are unattached and to collaborate amongst all primary care providers cohesively in our Region.   This exemplifies the true purpose for Ontario Health Teams to serve in a more integrated and seamless manner for patients in our Region.

Dr. McIntosh added, “As some physicians retire in our community, we are working hard transferring those patients to other primary care providers in our network, trying to ensure they continue to receive the care they are accustomed to.  This process is and has been underway for months now, but takes time for the transfers to finalize. Our family doctors locally continue to look after approximately 60,000 people while also teaching medical learners and participating in recruitment efforts”.

The Couchiching Ontario Health Team Care Clinic is open seven days a week, and anyone without a primary care provider wanting to book an appointment is encouraged to contact the clinic by calling 705.325.2201 ext. 8250 or


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