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Primary Care
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Primary health care refers to the patient’s first point of contact with a doctor or a healthcare team. In Canada, family physicians are the “point of entry” or “gatekeeper” for most health care services. In Ontario, family physicians provide the vast majority of care for common health problems. In cases where the family physician cannot diagnose or address health problems, then a referral is made to the most appropriate specialist.

Family physicians also deliver preventive care and provide education and health promotion. Family Physicians offer a large amount (often the majority) of care for children, preventive services, management for chronic conditions (e.g., heart disease, cancer, and mental illness), and end-of-life care.