We started with two virtual workshops in January discussing the “state of the North” and MOCs to improve access and outcomes for our northern Ontario patients. We were successful in recruiting 3 new rheumatologists from the GTA to work with Jocelyn Murdoch (ACPAC therapist) in an ACPAC-physician model in Sudbury. She sees patients locally and patients are reviewed using virtual care with rheumatologists in Southern Ontario. The rheumatologists are all doing the San’yas Indigenous cultural sensitivity course prior to starting this work. This MOC has successfully worked for over a decade, but this will allow us to reach more communities and transition through retirements.
We have also been working hard on a business case to the MoH that proposes a “hub-and-spoke” MoC that utilizes ACPACs who treat patients in Northern Ontario communities, and review with rheumatologists in Southern Ontario via telemedicine. The case outlines the evidence that supports improved access, health outcomes, and significant cost savings to the system. We have engaged key stakeholders including patient organizations, Arthritis Society, and the OMA who are all aligned and have supported the business case. We will be taking this to the MoH within the next few months. To support the business case, we have developed an Infographic that details visually what is being proposed. A draft version is available here: Infographic
We are excited about the work being done and new ideas to address important needs of rheumatological care in the north.