The health care secret that has to be exposed

How a focus on keeping people well is threatened by a lack of public awareness and funding.

Fact: Almost 40% of the provincial annual budget is spent on health care (hospitals and doctor’s offices).

Fact: Between 12,600-24,500 lives could be saved every year if the government invested in preventative care such as Community Health Centres (CHCs)*.

Fact: Community Health Centres are our system’s best kept secret, and that’s a problem.

The Community Health Centre's approach is simple but effective. They help prevent unnecessary trips to the ER because all aspects of client care, with a coordinated team of health care and social support workers, focus on keeping people well rather than only treating them when sick.

But, here’s the problem.

CHC’s are critically underfunded. Without the support of the general public, it’s difficult to convince politicians to invest.

Jennifer Rayner is an epidemiologist who has worked with the London Intercommunity Health Centre (LIHC) for several years. She has witnessed first hand the awareness and funding problems facing CHCs, despite the fact that they offer very effective primary health care to those who often experience the greatest barriers in accessing it.

“The vast majority of Ontarians do not have access to a CHC.” Rayner says, “A recent study indicated that in Ontario approximately 22% would benefit from care at a CHC due to barriers to care and presently we only serve approximately 4% of the Ontario population.”

This is why advocacy is a primary value of LIHC. It’s time for more Ontarians to understand the many benefits of a community health center, including the long-term cost savings that come from keeping people well.

Projects like See One Community are the just the beginning.  Please explore this site and help us share our story!

*Canadian Institute for Health Information