The Government of Ontario announced itis providing an initial investment of $9 million through the 2024 budget to begin the design and planning for York University’s new medical school in Vaughan.

According to the province, the new medical school will be the first in Canada that is focused on training primary care doctors and is helping fulfill Ontario’s commitment to ensure that everyone who wants to have a primary care provider can access one.

“Today’s announcement is part of our plan to connect more Ontario families to more convenient care, including primary care,” said Premier Doug Ford. “As the first medical school in Canada focused primarily on training family doctors, this new school will make an enormous impact in the lives of people in York Region and across Ontario.”

This new medical school will include up to 80 undergraduate seats and up to 102 postgraduate seats starting in September 2028, with up to 240 undergraduate seats and 293 postgraduate seats on an annual basis once operating at full capacity.

“Our government is taking historic action to grow our health care workforce by launching the largest expansion of Ontario’s medical education system in over a decade,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Our investment in York University’s new medical school is another way our government is increasing the number of doctors in our health care system to make it easier for people to connect to world class care in their community for years to come.”

By focusing primarily on training family doctors, the York University training model will devote approximately 70 per cent of the new postgraduate training seats to primary care, when the medical school becomes operational in 2028. In addition to other historic investments to increase the number of medical school seats, expand interprofessional primary care teams and efforts to break down barriers so highly skilled internationally trained doctors can care for people in Ontario, Ministry of Health modelling shows that these initiatives will help connect up to 98 per cent of people in Ontario to primary care in the next several years.

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“Our investment in York University’s new medical school will make it easier for future doctors to access the exceptional postsecondary education that Ontario is so well known for,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “By helping to train more primary care physicians, we will ensure Ontario families in growing communities like York, Simcoe and Muskoka continue to have access to the care they need, closer to home.”

“This new investment to support increased physician education in Ontario comes at a critical time and marks an important milestone in York’s trajectory as an internationally recognized leader in higher education. Amidst growing demand for family doctors and other primary care general specialists, I want to thank Premier Ford and his government for being responsive to this pressing need, for their vision and clear commitment to York’s School of Medicine – and a healthier future for Ontarians,” said Rhonda Lenton
president and vice chancellor, York University.

“By building a new medical school in Vaughan, our government is taking action to ensure families in Vaughan and King have access to better healthcare, closer to home. This game changing investment was my top local priority to deliver, and by doing so, we will train the next generation of doctors for decades to come. The York medical school in Vaughan will be situated beside the state-of-the-art Cortellucci Vaughan hospital, and the soon-to-be built long-term care home; that together will significantly improve the quality of care of our families and seniors,” said Stephen Lecce, MPP King-Vaughan.

Featured image: (Government of Ontario)

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