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Terms of Reference

1.0 Purpose

To bring together a multi-sectoral team (based on the Healthcare Pentagram Partners – see Appendix) to oversee the development a Northern Physician Resources Action Plan, that is built on the ideas and strategies that were identified in both the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s Rural Road Map for Action and at the recent Summit North: Building a Flourishing Physician Workforce.

The work of the Northern Physician Resources Task Force is intended to take no longer than eight-months. Following that, members may subsequently be called upon, periodically, to review and comment on evolving initiatives that may stem from the original work of the Task Force.

2.0 Background

Following Summit North, a decision was made to create a multi-stakeholder Task Force to finalize a summary report and to ensure that the deliberations, and those actions, from the summit are realized, and momentum sustained, across Northern Ontario.

To help support the next stage of work, the Task Force will retain a consultant, for whom the contract will be administered through the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM). The consultant’s work will include mapping the strategic initiatives that were identified at the summit and costing some of the proposed ideas and help create a “made in the North” Action Plan.

The ultimate goal of the Task Force is to create and facilitate a model (or combination of strategies) that will help communities build health workforce capacity in the North and introducing innovative models of care will lead to more equitable access to care for patients and greater health equity for rural, remote and Indigenous communities. To that end, the task force will also support the development of a Knowledge Transfer Project (pending) which will involve the creation of a new “service and workforce design” model, built on a similar model in Queensland, Australia.

3.0 Scope and Functions

The Task Force will be responsible for:

1. Creating a draft Terms of Reference

2. Clarifying scope of project

3. Developing draft framework for categorization of Summit recommendations (short-term vs longer term, no cost vs new resources etc.)

4. Reviewing/synthesizing of recommendations and initial categorization based on framework

5. Reporting back to Summit North participants to keep them informed and updated on work of the Task Force and progression of action items.

6. Preparing draft and final Northern Physician Resources Action Plan (including initial cost estimates to implement the plan – and possible funding sources as well as natural organizational hosts for specific actions)

7. Establishing baseline data/performance indicators to help measure success

8. Planning a potential subsequent Summit North 2 (as needed)

9. Aligning with developing and emerging strategies of Government

10. Supporting the creation of a data collection and assessment tool that will aid in future HHR planning

11. Prior to close of the task force, establish a mechanism through task force organizations and the Northern Health Equity Strategy to ensure that there is sustained attention to the physician resource issue.

12. In completing its work, the Task Force should align its work with, and have regard for, other complementary initiatives and strategies currently being undertaken across the North and other jurisdictions including, but not limited to: NAN Health Transformation project, Northern Policy Institute, Northern Health Equity Strategy, Health Workforce Planning Advisory Table, etc.)

13. Ensuring a strategy is in place to facilitate appropriate and timely communications and document dissemination to Summit North participants, and others as needed (while complying with AODA requirements).

4.0 Reporting and Decision Making

The Task Force will be co-chaired by the two Local Health Integration Networks (Northeast and Northwest).

Regular reports/material will be circulated by the Co-chairs in advance of meetings.

Any member may table/circulate documents/information at meetings and/or via e-mail although time for advance preparation for the meeting is helpful and circulation in advance of meetings is strongly encouraged.

Decisions of the task force will be made by consensus, based on the members present at a meeting where decisions have been discussed. Only compelling information could result in a decision being brought back to the Task Force, of which a request for reconsideration would first be presented to the Co-Chairs.

5.0 Task Force Process

The Task Force will oversee the work of, and review material prepared by, the consultant. Much of the material would have been generated at the Summit which the Task Force will distill and formulate an action plan that is achievable and impactful in helping transform physician recruitment and retention effectiveness in those areas of the North that continue to struggle.

Time commitment to the Task Force will include reviewing material and attending about five meetings (WebEx tele/video conferencing). A possible face to face meeting may be organized at or near the end of the project to finalize recommendations and Action Plan. Page 3 of 4

6.0 Composition


One representative from each of the following partner organizations:

  • Northwest Local Health Integration Network (Co-chair)
  • Northeast Local Health Integration Network (Co-chair)
  • HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency
  • Northern Ontario School of Medicine
  • Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Ontario Medical Association
  • Ontario Hospital Association
  • Nishnawbe Aski Nation
  • Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities
  • Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association
  • Northern Teaching Hospital Council
  • Réseau du mieux-être francophone du Nord de l’Ontario

NOSM will also provide additional staff resources to support the administrative/secretarial work of the Task Force

As needed, guests will be invited to attend a meeting(s) with the consensus of the group.

7.0 Meetings

Meetings will be held on a regular basis (most likely monthly), or at the call of the Co-chairs, to ensure the functions and goals can be achieved in the intended timelines. Page 4 of 4


Partnership Pentagram
Partnership Pentagram