Finch Weston Health Centre

General Information

Description of Population

Finch Weston Health Centre is located in mid city Toronto close to the nationally known and troubled neighborhood of Jane Street and Finch Avenue.  The intersection of Finch Avenue and Weston Road is the heart of the historic Emery Village, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the greater Toronto Area.  It is now home to numerous immigrants from Portugal, Italy, South America, the Middle East and Africa.  In many instances, English is not the first language for many patients in this centre.  Many families in this neighborhood live in rented flats, have blue collar jobs, have a higher single parent household ratio when compared to the broader Toronto population, and are generally of lower SES.

Finch Weston PHC Centre currently provide the patients of the community with a multitude of services ranging from primary dental care, to primary medical care, cancer screening, chronic disease management, and an on-site pharmacy and a cardiology clinic.  The centre also provides its patient population with primary rehabilitation services including an on-site massage therapist, chiropractor, physiotherapist, reflexologist, personal wellness trainer and limited foot clinic solutions such as orthotics and braces.

Keeping in mind this population’s special needs, the centre also actively employs Spanish and Arabic speaking employees, has on-hand translators, and arranges for certain patients to be transported in and out of the centre depending on their financial or other limitations.  In addition, there is a strong emphasis on obtaining a social worker who can act as the patient’s ombudsman.  This is necessary because quite frequently, this sub-population of the city has more disabilities and also tend to be on social assistance programs.

Medical Issues of Special Interest to this Population

The Finch Weston PHC population brings with it contrasting views and expectations of the health care system, often brought on by the patient’s native experience with their own health care system prior to immigrating.  Mental illness, for example, is much more of a taboo in such populations.  A primary care and preventative medicine orientation is often lacking.  Their public health expectations are vastly different from the standards employed in Canada.  Demand for antibiotics, for example, is proportionally much higher in such populations than it is for the rest of the population.  Providing primary health care to this population is challenging, yet most rewarding.