With frequent moves and unpredictable separations from their loved ones, military families in Canada often experience health care challenges and have difficulty finding a family physician and establishing regular access to health care services.*  The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is pleased to collaborate with Military Family Services to help bring awareness to these issues.

Today we release a new Best Advice guide: Caring for Military Families in the Patient’s Medical Home. Building on the 2016 Family Physicians Working With Military Families resource document, the new guide provides recommendations on how family physicians and other health care providers can enhance access to health care for military families in the context of the Patient’s Medical Home (PMH) model and support the delivery of continuous, patient-centered care.

Key recommendations from the guide include:

  • Promoting military literacy for family physicians by encouraging awareness of the unique challenges military families face
  • Facilitating the process for family doctors to accept military families into their practices in a timely manner
  • Assisting with seamless transitions in care when military families move, such as providing patients with copies of their records
  • Providing appropriate and continuous care for each family member across age groups
  • Providing mental health supports for all family members
  • Understanding the unique concerns of children and youth of military families
  • Supporting military families in their communities through referrals to local programs and services

While these recommendations align with the principles of the PMH model, the guide is relevant for all types of family practices.

Content for the Best Advice guide was informed by a team of experts from the Military and Veteran Families Advisory Group, which is composed of representatives from the CFPC, Military Family Services, the Vanier Institute of the Family, the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, Canadian Armed Forces Health Services, Veterans Affairs Canada, and Primacy Management Inc.

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