Ontario’s Community Health Centres have been around for over forty years. But they’ve always been a bit ahead of their time.
They were inspired by the ideas of Tommy Douglas’ original vision for Medicare. Douglas hoped that as it evolved our health system would focus more on keeping people well – not just treating them when they get sick.
To do this, CHCs deliver primary care services in combination with health promotion and illness prevention services. And what makes CHCs stand out is a strong community development focus. So in addition to promoting the health of individuals and families, CHCs mount initiatives that address social, economic and environmental problems negatively impacting people’s health.
Governed by community members, and working hand in hand with those they serve, CHCs also prioritize improving the health and wellbeing of populations who’ve traditionally faced barriers accessing health services.